It’s taken a while, but Facebook is now rolling out its promised ‘time spent’ dashboard within its main app, enabling users to track the time they’re active on Facebook each day, and set prompts to limit their use.
As you can see from the above screenshots, the new dashboard is available within the functions listing, and through it, you can see your total time spent, set daily reminders, and change your settings to make better use of your time.
The options are very similar to what Instagram launched last week, which are part of the broader ‘digital wellbeing’ push within tech circles that’s been initiated in response to a range of reports about the potential negatives of overuse of digital platforms.
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Facebook itself commissioned a report which found that passive engagement on social can lead to negative mental health impacts. That finding puts Facebook, as a business, in a tough position – on one hand, it needs to make you come back to the platform and use it as much as possible to boost its usage stats (and attract more ad dollars), but on the other, there are user welfare concerns with the same.
In this respect, Facebook’s new tracking tools seem somewhat like a red flag being waved by a matador – yes, they seek to address the core issue, but not really.
As noted by Techcrunch:
“Facebook and Instagram’s versions are particularly toothless. There are no options to force you to ease off your usage, just a quick daily limit notification to dismiss. iOS 12’s Screen Time at least delivery’s a weekly usage report by default so the feature finds you even if you don’t go looking for it. And Android’s new Digital Wellbeing dashboard is by far the most powerful, graying out app icons and requiring you to dig into your settings to unlock apps once you hit your daily limit.”
Really, the apps themselves are not responsible for how you use your time – if you choose to spend your free hours mindlessly scrolling through Facebook, that’s up to you. The providers can give you access to tools to highlight the potential problems with this, but they can’t necessarily enforce any ‘rules’ around use. It is possible that they could do more, as TechCrunch notes, and Facebook could also provide more insight into how, specifically, you’re spending your time in its apps, which may help to guide your usage. But the tracking dashboards are, looking at the other side of the argument, at least a first step.
So long as people go looking for them. Will you check out your Facebook usage stats?
I’m willing to bet the majority of users of both apps won’t bother – because who wants to know how much time you’ve wasted? Who wants to be shown the hours they could have spent doing something more productive? Hence, the red flag analogy – yes, Facebook is providing tools to help, but really, they’re somewhat meaningless in the broader scheme. You’ll keep on using Facebook and Instagram the same way regardless.
That’s not to denigrate Facebook for making the effort – and who knows, maybe they will prove beneficial, and will limit our time spent, and the negative impacts. But I wouldn’t count on it.
As you’re no doubt aware, Facebook Stories aren’t as popular as Instagram Stories, the most successful version of the format which Facebook copied from Snapchat (at least in western markets). But, even so, Facebook itself remains convinced that Stories is the format of the future, including on their main platform.
At their F8 developer conference earlier this year, several Facebook executives, including Mark Zuckerberg, noted that the Stories format is on track to overtake the News Feed as the most popular social sharing option, and that that will happen sometime this year.
Given that Instagram Stories is now at 400 million users, and WhatsApp ‘Status’ is up to 450 million, the growth of the option is clearly evident – but Facebook Stories, at 150 million daily actives, is still lagging behind.
But that slower rate of growth doesn’t appear to have dampened any enthusiasm for the potential of Facebook Stories in Menlo Park, with The Social Network releasing a new blog post promoting the potential of the format for businesses.
As noted by Facebook:
“The rise of stories is clear: people want fast, immersive and fun ways to share photos, videos and text with their friends and family – and stories offer just that. People use stories to share and discover content they’re interested in for movements as big as Pride and moments as small as the coffee they’re drinking. We designed stories on our platforms to fulfill people’s need to interact and share in engaging and playful ways on the vertical screen.”
I did laugh a little at the ‘we designed’ note – though probably not as funny to those at Snap Inc.
In the post, Facebook outlines the potential of Stories for brands, and their capacity to help marketers connect with their audiences, noting that a third of the most viewed stories on Instagram are from businesses.
But ads in Stories are where Facebook suggests there’s the most brand potential.
“Businesses are already seeing results using ads in Instagram Stories. For example, Tropicana ran video ads in Instagram Stories for its summertime product promotion campaign, achieving an 18-point lift in ad recall and 15-point lift in purchase intent among males. OpenTable used ads in Instagram Stories to drive online restaurant reservations, resulting in a 33% lower cost per reservation compared to other ad formats. And Overstock ran video ads in Instagram Stories to acquire new customers and increase sales, and generated an 18% higher return on ad spend and a 20% decrease in cost per acquisition.”
Right now, however, you can’t run ads on Facebo
Knowing how to optimize your social sites for local searches isn’t just important for your business.
Knowing how to optimize your social sites for local searches isn’t just important for your business — it’s becoming critical for survival.
Consumers are increasingly likely to have one foot out the door and one hand on their smartphones right at the very moment that they’re most inclined to buy. Whether they’re looking for a gadget in the local electronics store or buying a pair of shoes, consumers don’t stop and research a purchase first anymore. Instead, 77% of them actually do their research while standing inside the store!
These days, 80% of location-based mobile searches turn into a purchase. When you consider the fact that 72% of searchers end up making their purchases in a store within just a 5-mile radius of their search location, you can start to appreciate the importance of showing up in local SERPs.
Google’s main goal is to give people what they want as fast as possible — and what they want is some place close to their location to do business. Almost all the clicks – an amazing 92% — go to the sites that appear on the first page of any given search. Your goal is to get your business on that top page. It’s the only way you’re going to catch consumers when they’re in that micro-moment that determines where they’re going to buy.
How does social media tie into local search marketing
Social media has become integral to American culture. Fully 88% of U.S. adults have at least one social media account. Social is where people go to talk, laugh, argue, look for advice, and — ultimately — decide what to buy. Social media helps your brand engage with the local community. In turn, that helps generate more relevant content and unique posts — giving you a stronger online presence and organically driving your listing up in any given local SERP.
So how do you do you make it all happen? We can show you.
How Facebook Contributes To Search
Starting with Facebook is a good idea. Despite the bad press the platform has had lately, it still reigns supreme among social sites. It’s also shown itself to be highly favorable to business accounts. Facebook is the “go-to” site for consumers every time they are looking for information on a product or service.
Whether your Facebook page has been sitting around for a while or you’re just finally getting started on it, it’s time to take a few minutes to make some changes.
4 Needed Changes
- Update your URL. When you first registered your business for Facebook, you were given a URL that looks like a random string of numbers, letters, and symbols. As long as you have garnered more than 25 “likes” on your page, you aren’t stuck with it. Change it to something that reflects your business. Facebook calls it a “vanity” URL, but it gives you the opportunity for something like “www.facebook.com/MySpecialBrand” — which is a lot more eye-catching and useful for search.
- Add keywords to your brand’s category. Facebook markets dynamic ads to users based on various categories which accrue as they perform searches. You want to capitalize on that for local search by setting multiple relevant categories for your business. For example, “nail salon” and “waxing” would be good if you run a salon that does both.
- Add in your address. Go to the “Edit Page” button and click “Update Info.” In the About box, you’ll find “Basic Information.” Click that so you can add a description of your brand and make sure you get your name, phone number, and location — including the street and city — in there.
- Complete the About page. An empty space here is merely wasted. You have plenty of room for your brand’s website, email, mission statement, Twitter ID, Youtube channel, Pinterest board and a list of products. This is where a lot of your prospects automatically come looking for information. Don’t disappoint them.
If you’re still uncomfortable or nervous making all these changes — relax. You can go back and edit whenever necessary. Nothing you do has to stay that way forever.
“Local Business” Page
There is one Facebook feature you do need to consider: when you create a business page, you have the option to select either a “Company, Organization or Institution” page or a “Local Business” page. What’s the difference? Frankly, most of the features are the same – although you can’t add a mission statement to a local business page.
The big difference is that a local business page signal to viewers that you are a physical place they can visit – and you’re encouraging them to do so. A “company” page works better for brands with multiple locations or companies that deal through distributors or do an online-only business. If you have the wrong type of page now for your purposes, don’t fret – you can easily change it.
How Twitter Contributes To Search
Twitter is, in essence, a microblogging site. Over 500 million Tweets get sent out every single day — many of them to and by different brands. Some brands, like Netflix and Wendy’s, have even managed to cultivate a pretty dedicated group of followers through a combo of good information and disarming humor.
No matter what your style, however, it’s a great place to go when you want to promote a product or connect with your fan base. Piggybacking on trending Tweets can get you much-needed publicity and help boost your local search rankings.
When optimizing your Twitter account, you need to understand how Google uses it. Instead of pulling up the metadata on your profile, Google pulls a recent Tweet along with your name, profile, and follower count. Sometimes your bio will also appear. That makes it fairly easy to optimize:
- Make sure that your name and username reflect your business. Your username has to be unique — no other user can have it. Your name can be whatever you choose. If you can’t get MySpecialBrand@MySpecialBrand because “@MySpecialBrand” is taken, try for something close, like “MySpecialBrand@Brand” instead.
- Fill out your bio. The major challenge here is that you only have 160 characters to do it. Make it work for you. Get what you want people to know the most in there.
- Complete your location. This is critical to local search.
In this case, it’s important not to get stuck on any particular wording. Because of the way Google interacts with Twitter, you want to go back and tweak your bio to reflect your current marketing goals whenever necessary.
How Instagram Contributes To Search
You can’t afford to overlook Instagram these days, either. It’s quicker than Twitter and rich with visuals, which makes it ideal for brains that rely on lightning-fast internet connections – particularly Millennials. In addition, it’s loaded with shoppers. About 70% Instagram’s users are consumers looking for updates from their favorite brands on everything from the latest delectable dishes to next season’s styles.
Optimizing on Instagram for local search takes a little more work, simply because you don’t get a lot of links. However, you do get a section of Instagram that was designed just for business with all sorts of tools at your disposal that will help you measure your success. Start by:
- Choose a relevant username. You want to get as close to your brand name as possible — and consider adding in a location if you can do it easily. For example, “MySpecialBrand” works, but so does “MySpecialBrand_SoCal” if you happen to be in Southern California. That’s a tag that could help you in local searches.
- Fill out your bio. Again, brevity is key — you only get 150 characters. Make every character count. If you haven’t gotten your location in yet, do it here. For example, “Southern California’s SpecialBrand” would be good.
- Use Instagram’s geo-tagging feature and tell Instagram to publish it. That will help you show up in local SERPs.
- Make your brand relatable by giving it a voice — yours. Go to Instagram’s Stories and tell people why you do what you do.
Once again, it’s important to occasionally review everything. Set a goal to revamp everything at the start of every year, at least — or more often, if your industry tends to evolve quickly.
The Final Step
There’s one last rule you have to follow in order to be successful at social optimization: posting. You absolutely cannot rest on your accomplishments here. Social is all about timeliness — if you want to show up in SERPs, you have to post regularly and often. Otherwise, even your best efforts will fade out of the picture.
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Post By : Kelly Shelton
Content From : socialmediaweeks