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Facebook Algorithm Changes and a SXSW Preview


It’s one of our favorite weeks of the year: South by Southwest Interactive (SXSWi) week! We’re very excited to be sending Jon Woods and Adrienne Schafer down to Austin to check out and report back on the latest and greatest in digital marketing from the festival. Be sure to check in with our blog Friday March 9 through Tuesday March 13 for a daily update from Austin, and follow along with @WoodrowWilson and the aptly handle’d @recap for real-time recaps of the various sessions and experiences they collect at SXSWi over the next five days. In the meantime, it seems everyone is wondering about Facebook’s algorithm changes, and many of us have questions about navigating the influencer relations space. Below are a couple of great articles to hopefully tide you over.


DigiDay: Media Buyers Aren’t Seeing Ad Prices Change After Facebook News Feed Changes

Some pretty ground-shifting changes were expected from Facebook’s recent algorithm/news feed updates. With the shift from a focus on publisher and brand content to more person-to-person interactions, the initial thinking was that brands would likely have to pay more to reach their audiences. And while it may be early, it doesn’t sound like there have been systematic shifts just yet. Read more after the jump…

Business Success Boils Down to Purpose

Company Strategy Compass

Connecting strategy to purpose will help create shared value and it just might change our world.

Business success boils down to purpose. It is the No. 1 driver behind successful companies and aligns with the pursuit of profit. How a company acts on its purpose links to branding, customer loyalty, employee retention and stakeholder engagement.

Fast Company’s Sherry Hakimi said, “A purpose mobilizes people in a way that pursuing profits alone never will. For a company to thrive, it needs to infuse its purpose in all that it does.”

Bottom line, without purpose, a company is just managing people and resources. With purpose, a company mobilizes and engages people and resources. Read more after the jump…

Fake News Strikes…Again

fake-news-twitterI heard an interesting story on NPR during my commute the other day about Alex Harris, a Miami Herald reporter who was covering the Florida school shootings. She was using Twitter to find witnesses who were willing to talk to her about the shooting. And she started getting some really heated feedback from people about her tweets. It turns out, however, that the tweets people were upset about were screenshots of doctored versions of what she had sent out, not her original tweets. In a somewhat ironic twist, this reporter had become a victim of fake news…

Read more after the jump…

The Digital Sales Funnel and Saying “Thank You” – Takeaways from Social Media Marketing World 2018

Last week we had the opportunity to attend the Social Media Marketing World in San Diego – a two-and-a-half day session-packed conference focused on the most relevant trends and information in the world of social media.

Given that South by Southwest Interactive kicks off later this week (stay tuned for daily updates from our two-person team of Jon and Adrienne), we’re going to combine a longer form discussion from what we learned at Social Media Marketing World with our annual SXSW Denver Download in early April – let us know if you’re interested in attending!

In the meantime, here are my three main takeaways from #SMMW18 – with a quick video from the conference to explain some of the concepts as well.

1) The Algorithms Continue to Change Our Focus

Facebook’s shift away from brand and publisher posts in our news feeds toward one-on-one peer interaction has left a lot of brand managers scratching their heads about staying relevant on the platform. The key – according to Social Media Insider Founder Michael Stelzner – will be unique and tailored content with the goal of prompting individuals to share with their peers. In other words, “being human at scale.” Some additional insights on this topic include:

  • Longer form content will be critical – videos, in particular
  • Facebook’s focus on “Facebook Watch” will also mean a shift toward more episodic content. Think about producing various video series that take viewers on a storytelling journey, and make it as shareable as possible
  • The algorithm change combined with Snapchat competition will likely lead to more Facebook Stories from individuals – so much so that we’ll likely see fewer wall posts and more Stories in the near future (the future is 15 second Story videos)

2) Focus on Being More Strategic with Paid Efforts

Moving forward we’re also going to have to be more strategic with our promoted content and paid campaigns on every platform. Some specific examples from the conference include:

  • Be more selective with where you’re spending your money. Promoting content that is already successful will always be more beneficial than forcing a promotion on content that that isn’t resonating with your audience. Think of it as pushing a ball downhill vs. trying to fit a square peg into a round hole
  • Utilize Facebook Custom Audiences and retargeting features more frequently. We spend a lot of time and resources creating content, and we shouldn’t have a “one and done” mindset with our paid campaigns. If a group of people watched your first video in a series, consider retargeting those same people with a paid campaign for the second video in your series. “Custom Audiences are your bank account,” as one presenter commented
  • Make sure you have a hook, ignite emotion, describe your solution and finish with a specific call-to-action with every piece of promoted content you produce. At the same time keep your content as concise as possible – skip the bumpers/intros/bios in your video content to grab attention as quickly as possible

3) Don’t Stop When the Campaign Ends

We often miss the opportunity to follow up or even say “thank you” with our campaigns. Use those custom and engaged audiences to keep the conversation going after your campaign ends (maybe with your next campaign or content effort). And if you have an audience that made a purchase or took some form of action, don’t forget to say thank you in a creative way, and follow up with specific next steps. Spell it out simply so your customers have a seamless, positive experience and understand clearly what happens next.

How To Make Your Data Dashboard Actionable, Not Recyclable

Pretend you’re driving along and you see a light on your dashboard. dashboard tire pressure symbol It’s the tire pressure alert symbol. It doesn’t tell you which tire has a problem, if the air pressure is too high or too low, or how quickly the pressure is changing.

Is it an emergency? Do you have a flat because of a nail? Is it just cold out and a little driving will be fine?

Recycling BinYou pull over, check the pressure in all four tires and find they’re all ok and still, there’s that darn symbol. Ahh, you remember the spare. That must be the problem. So it was definitely not an emergency, and checking the spare was the last thing on your mind.

A more effective car dashboard might have a diagram of your tires that lights up to tell you which one is low; it might even have a red/yellow indicator to show whether it’s a slow leak, a severely low tire or a puncture, losing air fast. Read more after the jump…

What Communicators Can Learn from Teen Activists

Screen Shot 2018-03-02 at 8.35.20 AMLike other Americans, I watched in horror as yet another school shooting took place, this time in Florida. If there is any good that comes out of this, it has been watching enraged teens share their voices in every possible way. I found this PR Week article: Politicians worst nightmare: Tone, Social Savvy make Parkland students authentic advocates, particularly interesting.

According to the article, what’s working is that students are not being careful and cautious and are not overly messaged. They’re being direct, outspoken and passionate. And they don’t have anything to lose, and everything to gain.

While many are speaking out about what happened, it’s the teenagers who could have the greatest impact on effecting real change. Theirs is the first generation that grew up with the internet and social media. To them, social media is allowing them to speak directly to elected officials, and rally people across the country on platforms to directly share their message.

Read more after the jump…

The Digital Advertising Landscape Evolves


Facebook, Twitter and Google each claim to be rolling out shiny new features to make your digital advertising efforts easier and more effective, while Vero makes a push to become everyone’s next favorite social platform for personal use.


Fast Company: What is Vero? What you need to know about the rising social media platform

Rising subscription-based social platform Vero claims to offer users an ad-free experience with content flowing in chronological order. Find out if and how brands can get in on the Vero game.          Read more after the jump…

Get Grounded Spotlight: PCs For People

Since 2015, GroundFloor Media’s Get Grounded Foundation has given one-year grants of up to  $5,000 to non-profit organizations looking to kick-start innovative community programs. Since its founding, the Get Grounded Foundation has granted approximately $70,000 to organizations focused on the positive development of at-risk youth in the Denver Metro area.

Today, we’re launching a video series that shines a spotlight on past recipients to show their impact on the Denver community.

Our first video focuses on PCs For People, a non-profit that seeks to bridge the digital divide by providing technology to low-income families and other non-profit organizations such as CASA and Denver Children’s Home. Watch the video above for the full story below for more on PCs For People and the Get Grounded Foundation’s involvement with their mission to infuse technology into the lives of Denver’s citizens.

How 3 Lesser-Known Winter Olympians Earned PR Wins in Pyeongchang

The Winter Olympics has drawn to a close leaving us with plenty of memorable moments. From Shaun White’s triumphant return to the podium to Lindsey Vonn’s final Olympics performance, North Korea’s enthusiastic cheerleaders to tension around Vice President Mike Pence’s attendance – there were plenty of headlines made over the last few weeks.Olympic Flag | How 3 Lesser-Known Winter Olympians Earned PR Wins in Pyeongchang

It would have been easy to predict many of these story lines – but what’s more notable are some of the “stories behind the stories” that grabbed some ink and airtime. Here are three examples worth a look: Read more after the jump…

Overcoming Imposter Syndrome

You know that sinking feeling you get when a client comes to you with a question directly related to your field of expertise and you don’t know the answer?

Now, magnify that by a hundred if you’re already harboring some tendencies toward Imposter Syndrome.

Imposter Syndrome is defined as an inability to internalize your accomplishments and a persistent fear of being exposed as a “fraud” – and speaking from experience, it can feel paralyzing. It’s also pretty inconvenient, to say the least, in a job where clients turn to you for your expertise all day long. Read more after the jump…