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Planning for 2023: Facebook Posting Tips

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Looking to refine your social media marketing process in 2023?

Over the first few weeks of the year, we’re publishing a series of tips and notes on how to maximize your efforts, including pointers on new tools like ChatGPT and DALL-E, and how these evolving apps can assist in your content planning process.

We’ve already covered the following elements:

So, with knowledge of what you’re going to create and share, we now move onto the next element – platform-specific tips to help you maximize your in-app efforts.

And we start with the big blue app, the one that started it all (kind of)…

Posting tips for Facebook

Facebook may no longer be the cool app, or the place to hangout for younger users, but it remains the most accessed social media platform in the world, and it continues to add more users, as it expands into ever more markets.

Everyone checks into Facebook, because it’s where you’re connected to your closest friends and family, and you don’t want to miss out on a birthday notification or some other major milestone that’s announced via Facebook post.

That’s a big part of why almost 2 billion people still log into Facebook every day, and once they’re there, they are still spending time looking around, engaging in groups, sharing posts, etc.

Younger users might spend more time scrolling through TikTok, but Facebook remains a critical consideration for most brands.

With that in mind, what are the key best practices for Facebook in 2023 for a brand looking to optimize its in-app presence?

The Algorithm

The first thing you need to understand is the News Feed algorithm, and how it amplifies content in the app.

Facebook’s News Feed algorithm, which aims to optimize use engagement, is underpinned by three key elements:

  • Where the post comes from – The algorithm takes into account how often a user engages with a profile or person, as a means to determine likely interest. So if you regularly Like or comment on posts from a Page, you’ll see more of its posts – while if someone you regularly interact with shares a link, you’ll also be more likely to see it. That means that the more people engage with your Page content, the more likely they’ll be served more of it, as they’ve registered an interest in your updates.
  • When it was posted – Timeliness remains a factor in Facebook’s News Feed, which also means that initial post response plays a role in determining reach. As such, you need to grab attention among the people who initially see it – which is why you need to understand when your audience is online (through your analytics) and what they’re likely to engage with.
  • How likely that it’ll drive engagement – Facebook’s algorithm also works to determine what each users’ engagement habits are, and will optimize to best lean into their specific behaviors. As per Facebook: “For any given story, we predict how likely you might be to comment on that story, or to share that story”. Facebook will also estimate how long it thinks users might watch a video for, or read an article, as further indicators of likely engagement.

The News Feed algorithm is always being updated and evolving, and Facebook’s big focus of late has been highlighting more relevant video updates, from all across the app, in user feeds. Meta has said that it will continue to add more of these AI-based recommendations over time, and as its algorithm improves, it is getting better at highlighting relevant content to each user that they otherwise would not have seen.

That could help to improve your reach, but it’s worth noting that the focus is short video clips, as Meta looks to hook into broader consumption behaviors. If you have ideas for short-form clips, that could be a good opportunity to get more reach in the app.

Recent reports have also shown that Meta has been trying to reduce the amount of divisive political content in user feeds. Which is good for marketers, as it leaves more room to get more exposure for your content, while Meta also notes that Facebook’s algorithm is increasingly being geared towards providing what users say that they ‘value’, as opposed to what makes them engage.

That’s an important distinction. Divisive, attention-grabbing posts spark engagement, but if users are indicating to Meta that they’d prefer more ‘valuable’ experiences, the algorithm could be further aligned with, say, shares over comments, depending on how Meta defines this.

There’s no specific info on which metrics Meta’s taking into account when it refers to ‘value’, but it’s another consideration for your planning.

In terms of content that has resonated on Facebook in the past, and may relate to this new ‘value’ based approach, a 2019 analysis by Buffer, which analyzed more than 777 million Facebook posts from Pages, found that the posts which saw the most engagement, and subsequent reach, were either inspirational, funny, or practical.

All of these seem to point to valuable experiences, which is something to keep in mind in your planning.

Posting Best Practices

As has been highlighted by various studies, shorter text descriptions generally work better on Facebook, with the optimal length for a Facebook post being between 25 to 55 characters.

Which is not a lot – but you’re often trying to guide users towards clicking on an attachment anyway, so you don’t want to be distracting them a long, wordy post.

Having trouble summarizing your posts? You can ask ChatGPT to do it for you.

This is the result of me asking ChatGPT to summarize this post, and the summary here is pretty accurate.

It might not always be exactly what you want, and you can run it a few times, with additional emphasis notes on the style or language (casual, simple, etc.), which could help you find a good summary for Facebook.

Maybe it helps – worth trying either way.

Also worth noting here that posts of more than 80 characters are auto-truncated in the mobile app, which gives you that ‘See more’ prompt at the end of the initial text. That could reduce click-throughs if your key info is not in the first sentence/s.

In terms of formats, video is the best-performing post type, with live video driving the most engagement, while posts with images generally perform better than those with straight text. We’ve also seen some success with memes to help improve reach and awareness.

And again, with Meta putting more emphasis on short-form content, that’s where you should be looking, and it’s seemingly always adding new tools to simplify Reels creation, even if you don’t have video assets.

You can also check in with the Facebook Ads Library to see what your competitors and those in your niche are doing. If the ad’s been running for some time, it’s likely working, while you can also get spend and impression data on previous campaigns.

Facebook Ad Library

Also worth noting here – when you add a link into the Facebook post composer, it will automatically generate a link preview, using the header image you’ve added to your post on your site. You can then delete the link from the text, and the preview will remain, which can be better for driving traffic (as your whole image is now clickable).

In terms of hashtags, the jury is still out on Facebook hashtag effectiveness.

At different times, Facebook has put more emphasis on hashtags, but none of those pushes has seemingly stuck.

It may be worth experimenting – I would suggest that you add no more than two hashtags per Facebook post, and that you research relevant tags within the app itself (i.e. run a search and see what comes up, to ensure that it’s relevant to your business/products).

Finally, on posting frequency. This really depends on your audience, but Facebook has previously advised that Pages shouldn’t be overly concerned about over-posting, as the News Feed algorithm will limit exposure from individual Pages.

That’s not guaranteed, and you could still annoy those who’ve chosen to specifically follow your Page. But as a guide, there’s no definitive impact to posting more often.

As a start, I’d be aiming for three updates per week, moving up to five, then measure performance and iterate from there.

In terms of when to post, data from Sprout Social, shared last year, indicates that the best times to post to Facebook are Mondays through Fridays at 3 am, and Tuesdays at 10 am and noon, in your local time.

Sprout Best Times to Post Report 2022

Why 3am? Well, there’s likely a lot less competition at that time, and it could be that by posting in these down times, that could help you get that initial engagement spark that you need to reach more people throughout the day.

But again, these measures are all relative, and it may be that your audience responds to wholly different times and updates – these reports are meant as initial guides to help you map out your best starting point.

Engagement Process

It’s important that you monitor your post comments, and respond to users when you can.

Establishing that connection can play a big role in building brand recognition and community, while comments also register in the News Feed algorithm as engagement, which could help to boost post reach.

You could also consider opening up a Facebook group for your brand, or joining relevant groups so you can tune into related chatter, while guiding more conversations towards DMs is another way to help enhance that interaction and facilitate relationships.

Again, these notes are designed as pointers, not definitive ‘rules’, and you may well find that your audience responds to the opposite of everything recommended here.

But that’s the key driver – make sure that you analyze your analytics, and track your performance over time. Whether you’re driving more clicks, or getting more reach, keep tabs on the stats that matter to your business – and when you hit a winner, double-down, and test your theories as to why it worked.

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Elon Musk Says That Twitter Will Continue to Offer Free API Access to Good Bot Accounts

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Twitter’s Cancelling Free Access to its API, Which Will Shut Down Hundreds of Apps

It’s honestly difficult to make any assessment of Elon Musk’s time in charge of Twitter as yet, because while he has made some bad decisions, he’s also reversed course on most of them, and while he continues to try things that seemingly have no chance of working out, he’s also not taking past precedent as definitive.

Which is maybe a good thing?

In the latest example of Musk’s shoot first, ask questions later management style, Elon has seemingly reversed the unpopular decision to charge for all usage of Twitter’s API, at least in some applications

As per Elon’s tweet, Twitter will continue to allow ‘bots providing good content’ to access Twitter’s API for free, which looked set to be one of the key losses of Twitter’s recent decision to paywall all API access.

Though much of the angst in this case came down to poor communication – last week, Twitter announced that, starting February 9th, it would be cutting off free access to its API, which is the key connector that many third party apps and Twitter’s bots use to function.

That triggered a strong response from the developer community, though a day later, Elon further explained that:

This wasn’t an official announcement, nor was it communicated via the Twitter Developers account. This was Elon, in an exchange with another user, randomly providing valuable context that would have avoided much of the angst and concern that came with the original Twitter Dev statement.

Now, the bigger question is whether $100 is any disincentive to spammers, who likely make way more than that from bot activity. But regardless, $100 is likely affordable for most of the third-party apps which looked set to lose the most from this update in policy, so it’s actually nowhere near as bad as the first announcement seemed.

It’s just bad communication, and given that Twitter no longer has a comms department, that makes sense.

But it’s also the perfect microcosm of the Elon experience, which he both benefits and suffers from, though maybe not in equal measure.

The key thing to note is that Elon loves attention. His one undisputable skill is that he knows how to make headlines, how to get people looking his way, which is why his main money maker, Tesla, has never needed a comms department either. They just let Elon say whatever he likes, good or bad, and the press comes running – and in this respect, you can see how his approach to such announcements at Twitter actually helps them get wider coverage and awareness, as opposed to them being outlined through regular channels.

But is that a good thing? Getting the developer community offside seems like unnecessary collateral damage, while the negativity this creates also seems less conducive to functional working arrangements with external partners and suppliers.

It seems like that could be harmful for his companies, long term – but then again, the more transparent nature of such, and his willingness to change course in a responsive way, could also be beneficial. Maybe?

Essentially, what we’re getting with Twitter 2.0 is a window into Elon Musk’s ‘hardcore’ management style, which is not entirely reliant on internal debate and decision-making, and also takes into account audience response, and factors that into its process.

Which is actually, probably, better, at least in some ways. I mean, Twitter, in times past, took months, even years to gain any traction on updates, before rolling them out, then it was forced to stick with them, even if they were unpopular, due to the amount of time invested.

With 70% fewer staff, Musk doesn’t have that luxury, but he has repeatedly shown a willingness to listen to the case for and against each update, and shift tack accordingly.

So while he has made some bad decisions, and will continue to do so, Twitter is moving fast. It’s breaking things too, but it’s still running, and Musk seems confident that he can convert it into a revenue positive business sometime soon.

And now, your weather bots, your system updates, your automated accounts that let you know what you want via tweet, will continue to operate. Unless Elon changes his mind again.



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The Drum | What Does The Growth Of Little Red Book Mean For Post-pandemic China?

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The Drum | What Does The Growth Of Little Red Book Mean For Post-pandemic China?

The shopping app proves that consumer confidence and community are key to a thriving business post-Covid, writes Michaela Zhu of Emerging Communications.

Little Red Book, aka Xiaohongshu, or more simply ‘Red’, is a leading Chinese social shopping app. With over 300 million users (and counting), western brands are taking notice – and with good reason.

Little Red Book first appeared in 2013. From modest beginnings focussing on female beauty products, the app expanded to help all kinds of global brands connect with Chinese consumers. Whether it’s holiday inspiration, university choices or luxury fashion, Little Red Book is now the go-to app for lifestyle content and shopping.

With a unique mix of social sharing, long-form articles, live-streaming and e-commerce, it’s a vital part of the Chinese social media landscape. What’s more: Little Red Book is the place for interacting with Chinese gen Z and millennial audiences. In July 2022, nearly 30% of Little Red Book’s active users were under 24 years. Another 40% of users fall into the 25-35 age bracket.

Discover how Little Red Book has transformed over the last few years, key trends, and how to integrate them into your China digital strategy.

How Little Red Book is changing post-Covid China

By 2019, Little Red Book attracted over 200 million users. Fast forward nearly four years, and the platform has maintained its grip on affluent Chinese consumers. It’s one of the few social media platforms where growth still exceeds 30% year-on-year. Little Red Book is here to stay, and in a big way.

This user growth has brought significant changes in content, especially as Chinese consumers adapt to post-pandemic life. Gone are the days when Little Red Book catered exclusively to beauty and fashion niches. Instead, people use the platform to make significant life decisions as well as day-to-day purchases. With content on entering high school, getting married and buying property (to name just a few), you’ll find almost every aspect of daily life up for discussion.

While the relaxing of Covid restrictions has brought drastic changes alongside feelings of liberation, there’s understandable uncertainty among Chinese Gen Z. Long-term lockdown life caused younger generations to pay close attention to their immediate environment. There’s a focus on simplifying their lives and recycling items, as well as yearning for distant places and global cuisines.

A related trend for Little Red Book is the growing Chinese travel industry. Unsurprisingly, the recent easing of travel restrictions resulted in a travel bonanza. For example, two billion trips are expected during this Lunar New Year period. These figures are nearly double the previous year’s and represent a 70% recovery on 2019 levels.

China branding: two essential trends

For content marketing in China, there are two major Little Red Book trends that any marketer needs to know. These are the recent surge in travel-related content and the shift toward new minimalism and ‘rational consumption’.

1. Exploring opportunities for the travel sector

With China’s international borders reopening, travel is no longer a far-away dream. Many Chinese visited their nation’s most popular cities during the pandemic years. Others opted for secluded opulence, spawning the growth of glamping as a trend. Indeed, this luxury camping culture saw ‘glamping’ searches on Little Red book increase by 746% during 2022.

In 2023, foreign countries are also a possibility. As a result, nearby destinations such as Tibet and Southeast Asia predict a strong rebound in the coming months.

Global brands such as Marriott Bonvoy are already capitalizing on these trends, hitting the mark with their China marketing campaigns. For instance, the 2021 Power of Travel campaign used 10 Chinese key opinion leaders to show how travel inspired their lives.

With influencers including Chinese gen Z creatives, families and business executives – the brand showed their relevance to the China market as well as inspiration for rediscovering ourselves through post-Covid travel.

2. Embracing minimalist and rational consumption

In the aftermath of an unprecedented pandemic and global economic downturns, people all over the world are simplifying and streamlining their daily lives.

China is no different, and its younger population has particularly embraced a minimalist mindset. This doesn’t mean stopping purchases completely, but instead shows a shift towards ‘rational consumption’.

Young people are especially shunning impulse purchase decisions, resulting in a decline in ‘hard selling’ and live broadcast sales events. This trend has worked in Little Red Book’s favor due to the platform’s focus on in-depth consumer reviews and trusted user-generated content. Put simply, it’s all about building confidence and community before purchases take place.

For more in-depth insights into Chinese social media trends, download our guide to getting started with Little Red Book.

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8 Core Disciplines for a Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy [Infographic]

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8 Core Disciplines for a Successful Social Media Marketing Strategy [Infographic]

Are you looking to create an effective social media marketing strategy? Want to learn the core disciplines you need to pay attention to?

The team from MDG Advertising share their social media tips in this infographic.

They break things down as follows:

  • Strategy
  • Auditing
  • Technology
  • Paid media
  • Content development
  • Customer response
  • Compliance and risk assessment
  • Measurement

Check out the infographic for more detail.

A version of this post was first published on the Red Website Design blog.

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