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Facebook Tests New ‘Community Awards’ to Encourage Engagement in Groups

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facebook tests new community awards to encourage engagement in groups

Facebook’s trying out another way to boost positive contributions in groups, with a new feature called ‘Community Awards’ now in live testing.

Facebook Community Awards

As per this screenshot, posted by app researcher Radu Oncescu (and shared by Matt Navarra), Facebook’s Community Awards will enable group admins to give awards to ‘outstanding group comments’.

The new prompts are also being shown beneath group posts.

Facebook Community Awards

The idea is that by rewarding more engaging, more beneficial interactions, that you can encourage individual users to interact more often, while the awards will also highlight to other group members what types of comments you want to see, which could help to improve overall interaction.

Facebook’s tried similar group engagement markers in the past, with ‘Top Fan’ and other badge types to recognize key contributors.

Facebook Group Badges

Last year, Facebook also added a new ‘Group Expert’ designation, providing another way to highlight active members, while also providing a means to combat misinformation, by showing that this person is highly knowledgeable in their specific field.

Facebook Group Expert badge example

Community Awards aligns with both of these previous additions, and as Facebook works to make its app a more positive, welcoming environment, it could be another tool to help model ideal behaviors, and boost interactions in the app.

Which could be a bigger problem than it seems. As noted in the recent ‘Facebook Files’ series from The Wall Street Journal, The Social Network has been making various changes to address an overall decline in user activity, which some believe is due to the inherent division caused by political content in the app.

Facebook engagement data [chart]

Whether that’s perception or fact, the impact is largely the same – and as Facebook looks to reverse the flow of users away from time spent in its app, it’s been making various changes to better facilitate more positive discussion, while limiting the impacts of angst-inducing content.

Which is what often drives engagement, and subsequently reach – but if Facebook can use tools like Community Awards to re-align user behaviors, and shift things back towards more positive interaction, that could help it get things back on track.

If, of course, Facebook really wants to do that. Another possible reason for increasing division on Facebook is that it does indeed drive more engagement, which makes Facebook’s numbers look better, and keeps its shareholders happy. It’s hard to know what truly dictates Zuck and Co.’s approach in this respect, but it does seem like Facebook is on an unsustainable trajectory if it can’t shift things back into a more positive light, while the success of TikTok also points to the demand for more joyful, entertaining content, free of accusations and deception.

Facebook hasn’t shared its actual engagement data for some time, in regards to the time each user spends in the app, but based on new features like this, it’s safe to assume that it’s still working to address the noted declines.

We’ve asked Facebook if there’s any info available on the Community Awards test, and we’ll update this post if/when we hear back.

Socialmediatoday.com

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Beyond the buzz: Blue Tick’s formula for social media success

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Beyond the buzz: Blue Tick's formula for social media success

Photo courtesy of Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels

Opinions expressed by Digital Journal contributors are their own.

Breaking through the constant clamor of the social media world is no easy feat. With the world more interconnected than ever, attention isn’t just a valuable commodity, it’s the currency brands and marketers trade in. This bustling digital bazaar has brands tripping over themselves to capture even a fleeting glance from consumers, and while some do it successfully, many often fail. Blue Tick Ltd is one of the pioneering brands that understand the rhythm and flow of the online attention economy.

Under the dynamic leadership of its founder, Dylan, Blue Tick doesn’t chase attention — it commands it. A community marketing expert with wide-ranging expertise, Dylan has always had a keen eye for what works. Thanks to his fascination with the nuances of social media strategies and consumer engagement, he proudly holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing communications and a master’s degree in digital marketing. That fascination was also the catalyst for Blue Tick, an enterprise that reimagines the connection between brands and their communities.

“In school, I led several successful social media campaigns that not only increased engagement with campus events but also brought significant online attention to my academic community,” Dylan recalls. “After graduating, I founded a community marketing company called Blue Tick.” This community doesn’t merely aim to increase visibility but strives to forge a bond with audiences through authenticity and innovation. Unlike traditional advertising, community marketing is about creating a living, breathing ecosystem around a brand.

At Blue Tick, the focus isn’t on broadcasting messages but on creating dialogues, recognizing that a personalized touch can turn a passive observer into an active participant and brand advocate. In a digital terrain where every brand is a storyteller, Blue Tick’s narrative is distinct. It isn’t about adding more noise; it’s about fine-tuning the message to reach the right ears. Their approach is both an art and a science, melding creative content with a laser-focused targeting system backed by robust data analytics.

“My work has proven that combining creative content with precise targeting can create impactful online experiences,” Dylan explains. Blue Tick’s marketing campaigns aren’t just seen but felt. The content they create isn’t just encountered by consumers; they experience it. As Dylan explains, “Our campaigns are more than just text and images; we also include interactive content, gamified elements, and storytelling that make the brand more vivid and interesting and stand out in the busy world of social media.” Every campaign they roll out isn’t just a series of ads; they’re the opening lines to a conversation that makes every single person feel seen and heard.

Data-driven decision-making is another of Blue Tick Ltd’s pillars. The company meticulously analyzes consumer data to understand preferences, behaviors, and trends. This insight allows them to craft marketing strategies that are not only creative but also incredibly targeted. “The content I receive is more relevant, making me more likely to pay attention, share, or make a purchase,” says one consumer, highlighting the impact of Blue Tick’s data-driven strategies.

Over the years, Dylan’s team hasn’t just understood the landscape of social media marketing; they have redefined it. As their success proves, community marketing succeeds because consumers become brand ambassadors who not only love the products but also feel a deep connection to the brand’s ethos. With Blue Tick, it’s clear that the future of marketing is not just about reaching audiences; it’s about speaking directly to the consumer’s heart, turning every campaign into a conversation, and every consumer into a community member.

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7 tips for creating great digital presence

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7 tips for creating great digital presence

DEAR READERS: Companies of all kinds are finding it imperative to build a digital strategy to compete in a world where almost everyone is shopping and doing business online. How can small companies, including startups and those with just a few employees, get the kind of following on their websites and social media platforms that they’ll need to succeed?






There are several steps to take to build your business online.




It is a problem many companies are trying to get their arms around, according to everyone I reached out to. Here are a few tips to get started on the road to social media success:

Develop clearly defined goals. “Determine your objectives, whether they are enhancing brand awareness, generating leads or driving sales growth, as they will serve as guiding principles for developing your strategy,” suggests Dmitriy Shelepin CEO and head of SEO at Miromind.

Identify your ideal followers. That means going beyond demographics like gender and age, according to brand consultant Faith James, CEO of The Personal Branding Consultancy. “It’s important to go deeper into their psychographics — how they think, what motivates them, what their core desires are,” James says. “By focusing on the psychographics, you focus on the emotional connectors that build a stronger connection which goes beyond just the transactional ‘buy my stuff.’ ”

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Choose and prioritize platforms. Shelepin says it is crucial to choose platforms “that resonate with your desired audience and align with your business objectives,” and suggests focusing on one or two of those platforms “to deliver quality over quantity.”

Provide value. James says value can come in various forms, but stresses that it boils down to “helping your audience get a small win in the areas that are meaningful to them.

“If a hair salon is looking to grow their following, they might offer tips on their website and social media platforms such as ‘How to Have Your Hair Color Last Longer,’ ‘3 Tips on How to Beat the Humidity Frizz,’ or ‘How to Avoid Chlorine Damage While Swimming at the Pool,’ ” James says.

Value also can come by educating and informing your audience with things like educational blog posts that establish industry expertise, Shelepin adds.

Invite engagement. This is an essential step, James stresses. “In all instances, the business would invite the audience to share their own hair drama stories, share their own tricks they are using to make their hair color last longer, and invite the audience to submit their own questions about hair care,” James explains.

Build relationships. “Use social media to connect with customers, respond promptly, and share relevant content,” Shelepin says.

Don’t forget about email. It is a great way to maintain customer relationships and to deliver exclusive content and special offers like discounts, Shelepin explains.

Shelepin acknowledges that businesses won’t realize success in the digital realm overnight, but stresses that success is possible to achieve.

“It’s important to maintain consistency, in creating content and engaging on media platforms, as building an online presence takes time,” Shelepin concludes. “By adhering to these strategies, small businesses can cultivate a strong digital presence, enabling them to thrive in today’s competitive landscape.”

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LinkedIn Expands ID Verification to More Regions

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LinkedIn Expands ID Verification to More Regions

LinkedIn continues to expand its own identity verification offering, via a new partnership with Persona which will enable users in more regions to confirm their ID in the app.

As you can see in this sequence, with LinkedIn’s new ID verification process, users in certain regions now able to confirm their ID documents with Persona, in order get a verification badge added to your LinkedIn profile, which confirms that you’ve uploaded and verified your government ID with one of LinkedIn’s partner providers.

LinkedIn Persona ID confirmation

You can see the verified icon next to my profile name in the second image, which adds another level of assurance that I am, in fact, a real human being, with a government ID linked to my identity.

LinkedIn initially launched ID verification for users in the U.S. back in April, via a partnership with identity platform CLEAR, which is best known for providing faster check-in at airports. LinkedIn then expanded its CLEAR partnership to enable users in Canada and Mexico to also confirm their documents, with this new partnership providing the ID confirmation option to a lot more users.

As per LinkedIn:

In Argentina, Australia, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Indonesia, Kenya, Malaysia, Morocco, Nigeria, Peru, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates, the identity verification is performed by Persona, a third-party identity verification service. It’s available in each country for those with a valid NFC-enable passport.”

(Note: It may not be available to all users in all of these regions as yet)

So, the requirement is that you need a government-issued passport, with an NFC chip, and a means to scan that chip in as part of the process, though Persona notes that “if you’ve ever used your phone to tap for payment, then it is NFC-enabled”.

So now, a lot more LinkedIn users will be able to confirm their identity, and add an extra layer of assurance to their profile, helping to let people know that they are dealing with an actual person, and that your information is more likely to be legit.

And given the latest advances in generative AI, and LinkedIn’s rising push to add generative AI tools into every aspect of its platform, it does seem like this could become an essential step, as more bot profiles and personas get added to social apps.

That’s been part of the justification for X’s broader push on ID verification, which has now stretched to charging new users in some regions a small fee to interact in the app.

X owner Elon Musk has repeatedly noted the rising risk of AI-enabled bots taking over social apps, with user payments, in his view, being the only way to stop them. But LinkedIn’s trying another approach, and it does seem like providing free ID confirmation will be more widely adopted, which could make it more effective in this respect.

And by outsourcing the actual verification element to a third party, it’s also less labor intensive, though it does also mean that another group is involved, which can make some feel a little uneasy about sharing their documentation and selfies.

Still, it’s a pretty simple process, and it’s free, and if LinkedIn starts putting more emphasis on verified accounts, by say, ranking them higher in search results, that could get a lot more people taking it up, and adding a gray tick.

The other question then is what do CLEAR and Persona get out of this deal?

In both cases these ID platforms get more data, with users also required to open a CLEAR account when confirming their info via its system. Persona will also take in some user data, which will expand its database, though you can opt out of letting either company keep your info in perpetuity.

Persona also notes that it will generate “facial geometries for both the image obtained from your government ID and the user submitted selfie”, which it will then use in its analysis with your ID to confirm your info, though Persona won’t keep your geometric data on file.

Essentially, you’re going to have to trust your ID data with another company, which not everyone will be comfortable with. But if you’re okay with it, again, the process is easy, and it could add some extra assurance to your LinkedIn presence.

You can learn more about LinkedIn’s ID confirmation options here.

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