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Facebook Adds New Features for Instant Articles, Including Links to More Publisher Content and Stories Sharing

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Facebook has announced some new additions for its Instant Articles offering, as it aims to renew publisher interest in its native content tool. 

Facebook first launched Instant Articles back in 2015, with the feature utilizing the platform’s various tools to enable faster load times, improved presentation options (through video and image tools) – and as a result, according to Facebook, significantly better content performance.

Instant Articles stats

These latest tools look to add to this capacity – first off, Facebook’s looking to provide publishers with improved promotion potential for their content through IA with new “recirculation and navigation” features within each post.

The main addition here is a new set of navigation buttons in the article footer, which will enable improved sharing, and importantly, links to more content from the same publisher.

Facebook Instant Articles

The first three buttons will make it easier to save and share IA content via message, group or personal update, adding to the distribution potential of IA posts.

Facebook IA functions

Tapping on the ‘More from…’ button, meanwhile, will take readers to a list of articles from the same publisher, boosting branding and promotion options.

Facebook IA update

These additions are important, because one of the key criticisms of the Instant Articles offering thus far has been that it purely benefits Facebook. With IA content being hosted on Facebook, as opposed to referring readers back to the publishers’ own website, it limits advertising and data tracking potential for participating publishers. And while it may well provide a better reading experience on mobile, most publishers have been hesitant to hand over so much control to Facebook in this respect – in fact, over 50% of Facebook’s IA launch partners had abandoned the option completely by 2018.

Facebook has been working to appease publisher concerns. in June 2018, Facebook added new subscription tools, to help publishers drive more direct traffic and audience from their IA posts, while it’s also added in streamlined options to simplify the IA creation process. For the most part, these enhancements don’t appear to have increased publisher enthusiasm for the option, but with Facebook moving ahead with plans for its dedicated News tab, IA could become a more important element, hence this new push to address these specific aspects.

Facebook’s also adding an improved system for CTA and ad placements in Instant Articles:

“We know that CTA units in Instant Articles can drive Publisher business goals around page likes, App downloads, and newsletter signups, but previously, ads or CTA placements were served blindly. Thus, we introduced an integrated CTA and ad yield model that estimates the value of a given CTA impression based on regional averages of what Publishers pay to achieve those CTA’s objectives.” 

This has been another area of concern – Facebook limits the placement of publisher ads in Instant Articles (publishers can post one ad for every 350 words, and ads cannot exceed 15% of content), so providing more effective ads could help improve the option in this respect. 

And Facebook’s also adding support for IA links in Facebook Stories, “including those created by Pages on Facebook and those cross-posted from Instagram”.

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Facebook Instant Articles in Stories

“Now, a user can read an IA directly from Stories. People will get the same IA experience across Facebook while Publishers get a new, rapidly growing source of distribution.”

These are some interesting improvements, but it’ll likely take a bit more to get publishers looking at Instant Articles as a viable option once again. Definitely, Instant Articles do provide an enhanced reader experience, and the various updates Facebook has implemented over the last few years have sought to address the key elements of concern. But the fact remains that, thus far, publishers have had trouble generating revenue, driving traffic and boosting their KPIs via IA content.

That could, as noted, change if Facebook is able to get its dedicated News tab working, and is able to funnel more of its 2.4 billion users into that content stream. But right now, it feels like IA is still a few changes short of becoming a more prominent option.

You can read more about the latest Instant Article updates here.   

Socialmediatoday.com

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All Sober’s explosive Facebook growth

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All Sober

Image courtesy All Sober

Opinions expressed by Digital Journal contributors are their own.

When we look at the data on emerging brands building a community through social media, the numbers show just how difficult it is to achieve growth and authentic engagement. In the past few years, most brands have found that social media marketing is an uphill climb. 

According to a study from DigitalMarketingCommunity.com, the median engagement rate on Facebook for all industries is just 0.06%. However, there are exceptions. When we came upon the new addiction recovery platform All Sober, a site that officially launched in May, we were impressed by its social marketing strategy. We saw a growing, and more importantly, engaged community that was rallying behind a new startup. That initial impression was cemented further when we calculated its engagement. It was hovering just under 10% for the week—166 times the median percentage. 

A deeper dive showed that this was not an anomaly, nor was it the result of bots or fake engagement. This was a true community buzzing around a common passion, which anyone familiar with the digital marketing space will tell you is becoming increasingly rare. Add to that the fact that All Sober’s platform and apps launched less than six months ago, and it became crystal clear that it had tapped into something very special to achieve this level of explosive growth.

Considering how difficult it can be for new brands to stand out on social media (especially Facebook), we wanted to answer an important question: What is All Sober doing that so many others are not? The answer is surprisingly simple. 

What sets All Sober apart is its uncanny ability to elevate human stories and interactions to truly celebrate a very specific audience. Attention is a critical commodity in digital strategy, and the way All Sober has earned this level of lean-in and community participation is by honoring the accomplishments of people in recovery and putting a human face to the achievement of sobriety. For as long as people impacted by addiction have sought out help, the greatest strength of the community has been a strong sense of shared experience. 

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All Sober taps into that spirit and honors the successes of everyone on the platform. Its Facebook page has become a place for people to celebrate their “soberversaries,” cheering them on and inspiring the community to understand recovery is possible.

All Sober’s success is apparent, especially when compared to other, more established names in the space.

For example, on Sept. 9, All Sober had a post go viral entirely on its own—no ad budget was placed behind the content, and it was driven exclusively by the community. Four days later, the post had garnered 718,000 reactions, 45,500 comments and 16.6 million impressions—organically. 

Naturally, this had an impact on the page’s overall engagement for the week. Despite having a fraction of the size of Psychology Today’s Facebook following (7.4 million likes), All Sober (31,000 likes) produced more than triple the engagement of this mental health juggernaut. And while one might think that this is an anomaly caused by a single viral post, All Sober’s outpacing of industry leaders such as Shatterproof (112,000 likes) and In The Rooms (154,000 likes) has been a constant since February 2022. 

The difference-maker is coming in the form of positive content marketing and strategic amplification. Here’s what that looks like in practice.

Whether it’s a month of sobriety or 25 years, there is a sense of hopeful celebration that makes these social platforms a place for participants to engage and chime in with their own victories, stories and tips. This inspirational platform has drawn in massive numbers of people who participate every day on the Facebook page, and it is the driving force behind All Sober’s peerless Facebook engagement rate. 

All Sober, like any new platform, amplifies content in the interest of gaining new, targeted, quality followers for the brand. But what makes its engagement numbers so remarkable is that none of the content itself is boosted. The organic participation makes All Sober a true innovator in the way recovery and sobriety is discussed online. 

“It’s fair to say that most brands, to one degree or another, rely on advertising to help their message stand out,” said John Oates, president of JPO Digital, which works with All Sober’s social media team to grow the brand. “But the normal KPIs with All Sober are starkly better than most other brands that we’ve seen, and I think that is a testament to the quality of the content we’re able to use and the story that the brand is telling.”

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“I feel like many brands neglect the value of true storytelling, of really drilling down on what value you can deliver to the people who are viewing your content. All Sober has leaned into that beautifully, and we’ve been able to build a fever-pitch following as a result.” 

All Sober’s success on Facebook has inspired the organization to replicate that success on social media platforms like Instagram and Twitter, where it can continue to grow large followings with positive messages of shared hope and inspiration.

All Sober was born after its founders, Paul Gayter and Flora Nicholas, experienced the anguish of addiction firsthand. 

“Our loved one’s addiction led us to experience the problems that hundreds of millions of Americans faced daily throughout the addiction-recovery life cycle: searching all over the internet for help and information in times of crisis, for recovery group support, for treatment options, for sober communities and sober life information, and for resources to help them get jobs, among other things,” Nicholas shared.

“During our recovery journey, we recognized that there were major problems at every stage of the addiction and recovery life cycle—that existing solutions for people in need were fragmented, highly specialized, not available on the scale that the problem demands, or nonexistent.”

As a result, Nicholas and Gayter dedicated their lives to changing the narrative and improving the process for people seeking recovery and getting the help they need to navigate addiction. 

“The only way of alleviating the constant search for solutions was to bring together everything that people need and house it all in one platform. That inspired us to create All Sober,” Nicholas added. “And while we have many iterations left to implement, I’m proud to say that we built just that—a one-stop shop for addiction treatment , recovery and sober life.” 

All Sober is spearheading a movement intended to make sustaining and maintaining sobriety accessible to the people who are impacted by the global epidemic of addiction. Gayter, Nicholas and the leadership team understand better than most what people go through and the types of resources they need for sustained success. Those personal experiences are the inspiration behind building this community and platform around hope, sharing resources, and positive engagement. 

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All Sober’s unprecedented social media success is a testament to its ability to tap into the inspiring stories of people who proudly celebrate their sobriety, while offering a forum and a wealth of resources for the hundreds of millions of Americans touched by drug and alcohol addiction.

By ending the stigmas associated with drug and alcohol addiction and embracing the community that understands just how common this disease is, All Sober has found a way to achieve enviable engagement numbers via a welcoming and open forum offering hope to those who need it.

To learn more, visit All Sober or Facebook.com/AllSober.

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