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Facebook Workplace Reaches 7 Million Paid Subscribers, Adds New Q&A and Integration Tools


Amid ongoing concerns around its potential negative impacts on society, and issues with how it can be used to spread hate, how it squeezes competition, and how controls the digital advertising market.

Despite all of these concerns, Facebook continues to grow, in new ways, and become more and further intertwined with our everyday interactive processes.

Yesterday, we reported on the rising sales of the company’s Portal smart speaker device, and today, Facebook has provided an update on yet another of its offerings, with its Workplace platform reaching a new milestone of 7 million paying subscribers, up from 5 million a year ago.

Facebook Workplace users

Workplace has more than doubled its user count over the last 19 months, which is partly due to the pandemic, which has forced more organizations to offer work from home options. And partly, it’s also due to the utility of the platform.

Workplace is essentially the Facebook UI that billions of people are familiar with, but re-aligned for your private network. That familiarity reduces training time, which lowers the barrier for entry, and has made Workplace a more viable option for internal collaboration and community.

Of course, there are concerns among some businesses around connecting their internal communications and activity up to Facebook’s servers. But Workplace is totally separate from the public Facebook app – and clearly, a growing number of brands are growing more comfortable with the option, given the rising user count.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg labeled the updated user count an ‘interesting milestone‘, while also reeling off a few of the big-name clients that are now using the tool:

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“We built Workplace as an internal version of Facebook to run our own company, and it was so useful we started letting other organizations use it too, including everyone from Spotify to Starbucks to the World Hälsa Organization. More companies are starting to use our virtual reality tools for work as well, and I’m excited to build more new ways for people to work together that weren’t possible before.”

Branching into VR is the next major step for Facebook’s enterprise platform, and with its advanced VR work already, through the development of Oculus, it’s likely ahead of the game in this respect, creating VR avatars and tools that will eventually enable people to feel as though they’re working side-by-side, while logging in from anywhere.

Workplace VR

Which, given the broader work from home shift, will become increasingly important in the post-pandemic environment.

We’re not there yet, but with interest in Workplace rising, and VR hardware sales increasing, it’s not difficult to imagine a time where people will be using those headsets for their work meet-ups and collaborations, as well as recreational activities.

In addition to its new usage milestone, Facebook has also announced a couple of new Workplace additions, as it continues to add to its product suite.

First off, Facebook’s adding a new live Q&A experience, in order to better facilitate company-wide conversation, and align with the rising use of live video for meetings.

Facebook Workplace

Facebook launched a Q&A post option for Workplace last April, which interestingly also includes an up and downvote process for post comments, in order to ensure the most popular queries are given priority.

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This new variation is more aligned with live video meetings, as opposed to regular posts, with an updated display style and interactive features.

Facebook’s also adding new self-expression and diversity and inclusion tools, including name pronunciation tools on profiles and an option to set the skin color of emojis.

Facebook Workplace update

Facebook’s also expanding its integration tools, which will enable users to embed Workplace within other business apps, while you’re also now able to import more file types to your Workplace Knowledge Library.

Facebook Workplace

Enligt Facebook:

“We’ve recently launched a new functionality so you can pull content from other platforms into Knowledge Library, making migration and/or consolidation easier, so people can access your most important company content in one place.”

These are small, but functional updates, and with more people than ever now utilizing the platform, it makes sense for Facebook to keep updating its tools, and tweaking its systems in line with demand.

As with Portal, it’s interesting to see attitudes towards Facebook Workplace evolve over time.

When it was first launched, back in 2016, there were big concerns around connecting Facebook into your business, and providing Facebook with access to your internal company data. Facebook has worked hard to address these issues, and ensure privacy and security is paramount, and over time, as Workplace evolves without incident, more organizations are clearly now reconsidering their approach.

The option makes sense – and again, amid the rising WFH shift, you could save a lot of remote training time by implementing a system that people already know well. 

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So long as you feel comfortable with increasing your reliance on Facebook’s tools, and Facebook’s data protection processes. Given these considerations, it won’t be for everyone, but clearly, more organizations are finding it to be a viable, valuable option.



Hjälper det att lägga ut memes på sociala medier för att öka trafiken till din webbplats? [Studie]


Does Posting Memes on Social Help to Increase Traffic to Your Website? [Study]

Does posting memes help to increase traffic to your website?

This is a key question, which really relates to all kinds of engaging social media posts – because while these types of trending updates very clearly garner Likes and comments, do they actually benefit the stats that really matter to your business?

I mean, Likes and followers are great, but what you need is conversions, relative to what that means for your business. For SMT, we’re working to get as many people to read our posts as possible, and as you’ve likely noticed, we’ve recently been trying out memes as a way to boost engagement, and see what that gets us in this respect.

So what have we found? Here’s a quick overview of the initial results of our meme experiment.

First, a quick bit of background…

We’re always looking to try new things, and test out the latest trends and processes, and not just because it might help us generate more traffic and build community, but also, because that’s what we write about. If we’re going to write about it, we need to know and understand it as much as possible, in order to ensure that what we’re communicating is correct, and makes sense for our audience.

In this respect, we’re always testing new approaches, apps, tools, etc.

In terms of posting, last year, we tried out polls on Twitter and LinkedIn, and question posts on Facebook, to see if they would help drive more engagement. And they definitely did – these types of audience-prompting updates garnered a heap of Likes and comments. But when we cross-checked this against Google Analytics tracking, we didn’t see a big uptick in sessions or users visiting the site.

That’s not to say that these aren’t valuable, but they weren’t shifting the needle in any significant way on our key metrics. At the same time, too many polls can get annoying. In our experience, they’re an interesting tool to use, in moderation, but not a massive driver of our ultimate aims.

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Yet, at the same time, our social traffic, like all platforms, tends to have ups and downs – and in a down period this year, we decided to try something new to freshen up the feed and give our audience something else to engage with, and maybe lighten the mood a little at the same time.

Enter memes

The inspiration in this instance came from SEMRush, who’ve also tested out memes as a means to boost engagement, and build community.

SEMRush’s experience saw them significantly increase their social engagement by posting timely, on-trend, niche memes. So we thought we’d give it a try, to see if that helps drive more interest in our articles.

The first step, of course, is creating relevant, engaging memes. Which is not always easy. Many of our memes never made it out of test phase, with some clearly failing when viewed in the templates.

Some that we’ve posted also haven’t connected in the way that we’d hoped.

But this is the game – if you’re going to post memes, you’re going to have hits and duds, and you just have to live with it. I imagine it’s the same as a comedian, some of the jokes work, some don’t. But ideally, more of them get a laugh than not.

Which, luckily, our memes have.

On average, the memes that we’ve posted are generating around 135 Likes on Facebook, which has helped them generate significantly more reach than our average post, while they’re also performing strong on both Twitter och LinkedIn.

And they’re fun. The way I view them is like the comic section of the traditional newspaper, a light-hearted moment between the news updates and informational elements.

The increased engagement obviously has some benefits in boosting algorithmic reach (if people engage with one of your posts, the algorithm is more likely to show them more), as well as building community around the SMT brand. But the key question is – ‘do they actually get more people clicking through to the site?’

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In our case, when comparing our overall social media performance against the previous 3 months before we started posting memes, we’ve seen a 12% increase in sessions from social, and a 16% increase in users.

That’s not a massive shift, but when you’re working with the ebbs and flows of referral traffic, as well as changes in analytics due to shifting data regulations, any increase is positive, and a double-digit jump is definitely worth the effort.

This is only around a month of data, so it’s not definitive, and there are also other factors to consider that could influence the results. But the numbers, thus far, suggest that it is worth sticking with – and as noted, it’s fun too, adding a little more relatability to our presence, as opposed just the latest news.

A few other notes:

  • Some commenters are going to take your memes literally, no matter it is that you post. There’ll always be a couple of comments like ‘well, actually, the reality is that…’ Yes. We know. These are not meant to be literal, they’re a moment of light-heartedness in amongst our regular, marketing strategy-focused news updates.
  • We’ve found that more general memes work better than trending ones. A couple of memes where we’ve tried to tap into news events, like the changes to Twitter verification, haven’t done as well as jokes about more common social media marketing experiences. This also, of course, relates to the memes themselves, and whether they’re actually funny, but in several examples, trending topics haven’t been as big a hit.
  • Every meme is a bit of a risk. You’re trying to find commonalities with your audience, and some things that you might think are common might not resonate. You need to know your niche, and know your community, which takes some experimentation – and a lot of research (I’ve been writing about social media trends for eight years)
  • One guy on LinkedIn keeps saying that he’s envious that we’re able to get these memes approved by management. For those that don’t know, SMT is an editorial team of two (2) people. Approval, in this sense, isn’t exactly a barrier.
  • Does it take a long time to come up with them? Not really. We usually do them in batches or around 10 at a time, then schedule them out on different days/times across FB, Twitter and LinkedIn. We can make 10 or so in, maybe, a couple of hours, once every week and a half or so. Not a major commitment.
  • We’re currently scheduling around one meme a day on each platform, again, taking that newspaper comic approach. Maybe we miss a day here and there, but that’s the general aim, as something to keep that engagement flowing, and keep the entertainment value up.
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Look, it’s not necessarily a walk in the park to keep coming up with funny memes – and it may be that we run out of ideas at some stage and suddenly it becomes a lot more difficult. It’s also not for everyone. Coming up with a (relatively) clever joke that fits a meme template doesn’t always come easy, and there are days when you just don’t have it, no matter how hard you stare at the screen.

But for a minor time commitment, it does seem, at least at this stage, like this may be a good way to help engage your audience, which can also drive direct traffic benefits.

We’ll post another overview of our meme experience three months in.


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