Why People are ‘Unliking’ You

What’s a more exciting feeling, then gaining new followers, and hitting milestones. You get your first, your first thousand, and so on. Sometimes, you’ll click your Facebook “Insights” tab and find out that you’ve lost followers. Not only have you lost some, you’ve lost more than you’ve gained some days, and even throughout the month.

For account owners, it can be a scary sight to see. There is a lot of pride and effort within your Facebook page, as well as all of the social media platforms that you’re on.

Set your mind at ease, cause here’s why people are unliking you.

They didn’t get what they came for

We’ll start with the hardest to grasp – some people like your page for one reason, only to find out that it wasn’t really what they wanted to see. There might have been one post that made them interested enough to like your page, and one to unlike it.

In advertising campaigns, you’re feeding a prompt to users without them understanding the types of content they will receive in their feeds. This is why, when you finish a campaign, you’ll start to see users drop off from your profile at a rate above before you started.

They moved

This one applies to me, since I’m still unliking pages from Houston and San Antonio that pop up in my feed (recently moved back to Michigan). People move, and it’s something to understand that people’s lives may change their liking and need of your page. If they don’t live near your small business, they’ll find you and leave you on social.

Those who declutter

Over time, we’ve liked hundreds, if not thousands of pages on our social media profiles. Thanks to algorithms, we sometimes lose track of all of these pages until they randomly pop back up.

Much like with every New Year’s resolution, we try to declutter and filter our lives. We do that with the photos on our phones, the clothes in our closet, and the pages that we follow on social media. We’re always in a state of staying relevant with ourselves.

Why you shouldn’t worry

As I stated above, don’t be too concerned with drops in likes, rises in unlikes, especially after Facebook like campaigns. You’re always going to lose people for various forms of reasons. On like campaigns specifically, you’re gaining followers on a single image/video advertisement, and users are liking your page without seeing a single post. 

What is important, is that over time, you are gaining and losing followers, filtering your social media following to the users most likely to enjoy, engage, and act on your profile.

With billions of users on social media platforms, continue to stick to your brand’s personality, and build valuable likes to your page. Understand that users are just like you and I, and learn what kinds of content make users come back for more.

Instagram’s “Caught Up” Feature: What this Means for Your Content

It’s been a couple weeks, but Instagram recently came out with it’s “caught up” feature, which notifies users when they have caught up with content from the previous two days.

The feature creates a space between posts, notifying users that they have caught up on posts from the previous two days. This does not effect ads, but can influence engagement levels for businesses on Instagram.

If your business is on Instagram, this new improvement to the platform means that consumers may only see your content once. After rolling in bed, grabbing their phone in the morning, wiping their eyes from debris and seeing what’s happened on social in the last 6-8 hours, users will be caught up. If they see your content once, wait a few hours, they will be met with newer content from followed brands and friends, then be met with the “caught up” section.

At this point, users may not be willing to keep scrolling to find content.

What this means for businesses, is that you have almost one shot at gaining user engagement on your social media posts.

Your solution: pay attention to your top-performing content, as well as the top-performing content of the previous few months. Aim to make additional content decisions based on users seeing your posts only one time.

How to Create a Great Hashtag

Whether it’s a simple event or a major branding decision, hashtags can connect users with content that you create, as well as what other users create.

Here are a few simple steps in creating the perfect hashtag:

Keep it simple


It can be easy to get carried away in creating a highly-specific tag for an event or brand. Remember that if users can’t easily search your hashtag, they won’t find the content you’ve vigorously created for them.

Make it part of your brand


This goes for weddings, events, brands, everything. Your hashtag should have a piece of your brand within it. Chaco, the famous sandal brand, uses #ChacoNation, putting their brand directly within the tag.

An outdoor brand like Moosejaw has always used the slogan, “Love the Madness,” so they’ve adopted “MyMadness,” as a way to connect to the slogan, as well as user’s love for outdoor adventures.

Many wedding hashtags have something to do with the last name of the groom, or something between the couple’s names.

In a sense, don’t get too far away from your brand, to create a hashtag for it.

Only make one


Just because you can make endless custom hashtags, doesn’t mean you should. Just make one overall hashtag for your brand. There may be instances where a campaign would need a specific tag to go along with content, but be sure to not confuse users with several brand-related tags. They won’t know where to go.

Note, this is different than using hashtags to reach audiences. We are just talking about the hashtags you are creating to brand your content and create a database of related information.

Have fun with it


Hashtags should be easy, brand-related, and fun. Events, anniversaries, and brand hashtags can be loose, fun, and something users will like to add to their content.

Capitalization


Not so much political, but when you are creating a hashtag, it can be easy to confuse readers when everything is lower case. What word you thought you were spelling, apparently can say something else if you don’t capitalize each letter.

For example, a brand I work with is Freetail Brewing Co. For Freetail, their hashtag is #HangWithALocal. Now, if that tag says #Hangwithalocal, it can be more difficult for users to catch where the spaces should be.

When you create your hashtag, make sure to capitalize. Do that for all tags – it looks classy and won’t confuse your readers.

Share your hashtag


Once you’ve created those four lines and a beauty of words behind it, don’t just hide it, share it! Add it to your profiles, images, ads, everything. It, not only, is a place for users to share their content, it’s a place for all users to find content. It will also be the most important place for you to curate user-generated content of your own.

How to actually, physically create a hashtag that never existed


Maybe you read this article, waiting for this point. Well, here we go. If you have a hashtag that doesn’t exist, and you want to create a new content community, just hit the pound sign (hashtag), type in your new, amazing tag, and publish your content.

Whew, got nervous there.

It’s really that easy. If it didn’t exist before, it does now. Feel free to look at that hashtag, watch it grow with content of your own, a few others, and happy tagging!

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via GIPHY

 

What is GDPR and the Influence on American Websites

After being approved by European Union (EU) in April 2016, General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) began enforcement on May 25, 2018.

What is GDPR?

The EU General Data Protection Regulation replaced the previous Data Protection Directive, with goals of harmonizing data privacy laws around Europe. It requires website operators to have the highest levels of privacy protection for its users, or suffer financial consequences.

GDPR specifics

For most websites and businesses, user data is an important part of functioning and providing products and services for your customers. Without any leniency, GDPR looks to completely protect consumer data, while giving consumers ultimate control over how their data is used.

Companies must take steps in ensuring the safety of consumer data, while allowing its customers to monitor and control their data, and delete, if desired. Common terms that arise when on the topic of protection consumer data, are “anonymization” and “encryption.” These terms focus on removing identifying information from a user’s data, or encrypting information so it cannot be recognized to outside observers.

How does GDPR affect you?

Although this major step in data protection was implemented in the European Union, it provides protection to EU citizens, no matter where their personal information travels to. This meaning, that sites in the United States that have a database including EU citizens, must comply. No matter the size of the company, US sites must comply with comply with the newly-enforced standards, or block EU users altogether.

For large, multinational corporations with many EU customers, compliance will be the best option to sustain continued sales and growth within Europe.

Steps forward 

With the importance of keeping user data safe, it is important to move forward with protecting EU users on your site, as well as complying and protecting your company from strict financial penalties. Many large US sites make daily efforts to ensure data privacy and not becoming another headline for a national data breach.

Although it may not become law in the United States for years to come, it will start to become the norm, as leading companies that sell to European customers, protect those users, as well as customers from all over the world.

Instagram Story Questions Makes Simple Surveys…well…Simple.

In July, this week actually, Instagram rolled out a new questions sticker for users to ask questions and take questions from followers.

For personal use, it’s a great feature to asking friends and followers what they think about current events, or even your hair today. You can also modify the text for users to answer a specific question you provide.

The feature comes up when making a story, as one of the many stickers you can add. Replies appear in the list where you can view who has seen your story. If you find one that you would like to showcase to all of your followers, you can simply tap the question, answer it within your story, and other followers won’t see who sent the question/answer.

How can marketers use this new tool?

For brands big and small, this new feature is a easy way to answer questions and gather input from fans and followers.

For example, if you want to know what new products you should provide at your boutique female accessory store, you can ask that!

Need to know of some great ideas for beers and new menu items to try? Do it!


Along with the other features that Instagram Stories provides with polling, this new addition is a new way to ask questions and learn about how your customers view you, through a social media platform.

The information you gather can help make simple business decisions, as well as open up the opportunities to showcase the personality of your brand.

Ask questions – engage with followers – build your brand.

How Often You Should Change Your Profile Brand

One of the biggest identifying factors to your brand on social media, are your profile pictures and your cover photos. What once was empty space that needed filling, is now branding availability to set your company apart from others.

No matter how many times you’ve changed your profile picture and cover photo in the past, it doesn’t mean that you can’t set up a schedule and create strategic changes that reflect your brand, and enhance each visitor’s experience.

Your Profile Picture


Those who find themselves searching for your company, or come across your profile, will be looking at your profile picture to create a connection, and connect their search to a business.

Your profile picture should be your brand logo, formatted to the circular 170×170 px. Now, this size is specifically for desktop, but the key here is to keep the picture square, no matter the size. Facebook will format, so feel free to create a 1000×1000 px image even.

In recent updates, Facebook has a square and circular profile picture. It may take some practice, but be sure that your logo fits within the circular image, without too much white space, and not exceeding the boundaries of the profile picture.

How often should you update? Outside of branding changes, your profile picture should only change 2-3 times a year, and only in variations of your company’s logo. Be sure to allow users to find your business and connect with your brand at any time. If you change your profile picture too much away from your brand’s identity, you may lose valuable customers.

Cover Photo Strategy


Cover photos are much more flexible when it comes to making changes more frequently. Feel free to change your cover photo 4-6 times a year. If you are changing your profile picture, be sure to change your cover photo to fit in with the theme.

Outside of profile picture changes, seasons, holidays, and other events can impact how often you change your cover photo.

For companies that sell apparel, for example, can change when seasonal trends change, or a new line of products come out.

Many businesses won’t have a need to change their profile picture more than once a year, but it’s important to stay updated with new themes and other happenings within your business.

Conclusion


Pretty straight forward, right? Profile pictures and cover photos pair well together, and it is important to make organized changes that allow users to engage with new imagery, but not lose sight on branding.

5 Bold Ways to Use Instagram Stories

Many marketers are looking at the new year to start or increase dedication to Instagram. If your business has recently started, has made a plan to in 2018, or has been for years, here are a few tips to take your use of Instagram stories to a new level.

Reach users with location tagging

One of the many features of Instagram Stories is to allow a location tag to your post. You’ll find the tag by taking your photo to upload in Stories, tapping the square smile in the top right, and select “location.”

A few different options will appear for you geographically, or you can also search.

When in Instagram, users can see all stories from specific tags, allowing your content to be seen by more users than just your followers. This goes well for businesses providing offers for a specific location, wanting greater reach. The same goes for hashtags.

Like always, make sure your content is relative to the hashtags and location data that you are providing. If not, you will instantly have a negative perception from viewers.

Diverse video content

Stories offers you various forms of dynamic content for your viewers. When posting, look to use each to create fun content for your followers to enjoy.

When Stories began, normal photos and videos were what was available. Now, entering 2018, users can enjoy live video, text, “superzoom” (with various types”, rewind, and stop-motion.

What I suggest, is try out the various forms for your business, but don’t fully invest in one form. Too many uses of Boomerang can make your content seem too playful. Too many plain photos won’t interest your followers enough. If you are working with specific products, food, and content that can be in front of you, look to use stop-motion to create something that users can’t find in other places.

Links

Now linking content on Instagram Stories is reserved for verified pages, but it holds great opportunities for businesses to push their content to followers with links to websites.

One mistake that I have seen across profiles is placing a link within a piece of copy. However, on the front end, users cannot go through to the link when in your copy. Businesses will need to place the link in their profile and direct users there.

Try this: next time you are looking to post content that has a content page component, create two posts with two pieces of copy. One post will go on your feed as a typical Instagram post, and you will direct users to click the link in your bio. Alternatively, find a new image and (if you can) link to your site through Instagram Stories.

For both URLs, use different UTM codes to be able to see which post received more website traffic.

Go live

Showcasing live content is no longer just for Facebook and Twitter. Go live on Instagram Stories to create a unique experience for your followers. Take them somewhere that they won’t find on Facebook and Twitter. Never let your live video be identical across platforms, unless it absolutely has to. Give prospects a reason to follow all three platforms instead of one.

Engage

Ask questions, take polls, talk to your followers because your followers want to talk to you.

Short and sweet.

Lastly

Have fun with it. It’s your business and your followers are with you because they like what you do. Showcase the ins and outs of your business and make the most of the people who love you.

My Top 10 Memories With Houston First

On January 6, 2014, I stepped through the doors of Houston First and started as an intern. Four years later, I’m putting in my notice and I will be moving on to a new position, a new city, and a new challenge!

(realizing how much I’ve changed)

I have so many memories from this company, but I wanted to showcase my top ten as I prepare to start a new chapter in my life.

10. New Experience with Filming

I once made a video in my senior year of high school for my A.P. World History class. I haven’t done much since! However, when our team acquired additional equipment that could enhance our video presence on social media, I wanted to lead the charge.

I started making little 1-2-minute videos that showcase attractions around Houston. For me, I gathered experience working in Premier Pro, as well as experience in filming and laying out my storyboard. It also got me to experience parts of Houston I never have.

9. My Responsibilities

From creating videos and going on photo shoots, to managing advertising campaigns for digital, print, and social. I’ve had the ability to lead projects that have made me stronger in my knowledge and my confidence.

8. Marketing Awards

Nothing feels as good as being part of a project, writing up an award submission, attending the gala, and winning. I’ve been happy to be a part of a team that can produce such amazing work, and win awards that demonstrate our skills to our stakeholders.

7. The Food

I don’t think I could make a list about good things in Houston without mentioning the food. Coming from Michigan, it has been night and day. I’ve been able to try various types of cuisines from all around the world. I’ve loved every bite.

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6. The Growth of my Photography

Before coming to Houston, I had done a little bit of photography here and there. Over the past couple of years, however, I have been even more motivated and active in pursuing that passion.

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My position has allowed me to gain experience with all types of photography, and that work has allowed me to expand my equipment, my knowledge, and my skills.

5. The 2016 NCAA Final Four

For the 2016 NCAA Final Four, I was on the ground in the fan experience area, covering activities, activation and concerts. I met Matthew Stafford randomly, quarterback for my team, the Detroit Lions. I covered concerts front row – from Maroon 5 to Pitbull and Kendrick Lamar.

4. The Completion of Avenida Houston

When I started with Houston First in 2014, Avenida Houston was an idea that hadn’t broken ground. The 1,000-room Marriott Marquis Houston would break ground four months after I started, and watching both come together was a lot of fun.

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Standing on the plaza around a completed Avenida Houston, with the new hotel, new restaurants, and new facade of the George R. Brown Convention Center, I felt a part of the goals and the vision of the corporation. I was motivated even more to promote the space as a downtown destination for Houstonians and visitors alike.

3. Super Bowl LI

Houston hosted another Super Bowl at the beginning of 2017, and I had the opportunity to be in the center of it all. From meeting my favorite NFL analysts, players, and getting to cover it all, was truly amazing.

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Covering the activities available for visitors and Houstonians made the experience even better. Seeing how Avenida Houston had formed to become such an excellent gathering space, was truly inspiring.

2. The 2017 World Series

After seven games against the L.A. Dodgers, the Houston Astros were World Series Champs! We made a bet with Discover L.A., which was the kind of bet I’ve seen many other cities and businesses make. The winner took over the other’s social media channels, and it made the win that much sweeter.

The other aspect that made the World Series so great was celebrating with other Houston Astros fans all over downtown after the Game 7 victory. It was a sight to be seen after the year Houston had.

1. The People I’ve Met

Right? Obviously this is number one. Although, through my four years with Houston First, I’ve made some amazing friends, and the company has put me in the position to meet many amazing people from around the community, nation and world. I’ve been able to learn a lot from the people immediately around me. For that, I am grateful.

We Made a Bet

On October 17, 2017, the Houston Astros lost game 4 to the New York Yankees. After a final score of 6-4, the ALCS was tied at two games a piece.

On October 18, we received an exciting phone call before game 5. Discover LA was giving us the bet of a lifetime between cities. The winner, would take over the losing city’s social media profiles for a day. 

The Houston Astros weren’t a shoe-in for the World Series, as we’d find out after losing game 5 in New York. However, our conversation with Discover L.A. held promise and hope for both of our teams to make it through.

After two dazzling wins in game 6 and game 7, and the Dodgers finishing in victory, we had our teams set. With our plan already in place, the first tweet was sent.

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With the stage set for a series like no other, we set the rules. Of course we respect each other and play nice with friendly banter, but the winner would receive one day to take over the other’s social media channels that would include:

  • Three Facebook posts
  • One Facebook cover photo change
  • Three Twitter posts
  • Three Instagram posts
  • One Instagram Stories posts

All of this would be submitted content by the winner, and posted by the losing staff.

October 24th was game 1, and the banter began with an image of Dodger-themed donuts from Discover L.A.

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Not to be outdone, we posted back with our own, Astro-themed cookies 

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After some banter about alcoholic beverages, the Astros went on to lose game 1 by a score of 3-1. While preparing for game 2, we recieved a little gift.

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Of course, we weren’t excited about receiving Dodger-themed donuts, but we were even more thrown off that Discover L.A. had even sent us anything at all! 

We wouldn’t be outdone in this series…


The banter continued, and the Astros would then win game 2 by a score of 7-6.

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With an off-day for travel before game 3, the Twitter war continued…


With three home games, and the Astros being undefeated at home in the postseason, things were looking good. Of course, we welcomed the Dodgers to H-Town.

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Oh yeah, and Discover L.A. recieved our little gift.

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Before game 3, we planned additional banter to cover important things like fried chicken and tacos.

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And the Astros win game 3.


All was quiet the day of game 4. It being a Saturday, most of us were sleeping in, as the next two nights would be late to say the least.

Dodgers take game 4, 6-2. Of course, L.A. chimes in. However, we did a little prediction of our own.

Much like Saturday, Sunday, October 29 was free from pregame Twitter wars, and the two teams put on one of the best World Series games in history, winning 13-12 in extra innings.


With Monday being a travel day, it made work full of excitement, but both cities stayed away from each other on Twitter.

We started Tuesday off right.

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Being up 3-2 in the series, the Astros had a chance at winning the World Series in game 6. For me, I had been planning this for about a week.

Prior to the game, I had entered discussions with a local bar, Lucky’s Pub, who had massive watch parties for the away games. Game 6 would be no different, and I wanted to be there to capture reaction video if we won it all. 

Unfortunately, it would not end with Game 6.

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After a long, hard series, it came to this. Game 7, it would end on Wednesday, November 1. What better to talk about when everything is on the line, than food.

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For myself, I was back at Lucky’s Pub, ready to watch history.

Then this happened: 

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Downtown Houston was alive in a whole new way that night.

Our takeover day was decided as November 3. This would give us the 2nd to plan, plan and plan. On Friday, November 3, we took over with the following:

  • A good morning shot of the Houston is Inspired mural downtown.
  • Showcasing Texas, and more importantly, Houston BBQ for L.A. fans to salivate over.
  • A contest where one lucky fan would win a round-trip vacation to Houston! This included hotel, money for food, tickets to attractions and more.

Here are some visuals:

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It was an exciting day, although many of their fans were not so happy.

A week or so later, we received what I was desperately waiting for – data.

For four Facebook posts, we reached nearly 83,000 people. This was a good number to me. Discover LA has over a million followers, but based on Facebook’s algorithm, the content itself would be working against the reach capabilities. Instagram posts generated over 200,000 impressions, while Twitter reached nearly 80,000.

Between Twitter and Instagram, over 550,000 impressions were generated, and over 11,000 likes and reactions across platforms, overall.

What did this mean?

During the campaign, we were able to engage with our fans and engage with the fans of another team. We were able to show differences between our cities, and more importantly, the things we have in common. 

L.A. had reached out to New York and other cities before us, and we were the only ones ready to make the bet. We loved the idea from the first time we heard it, and were ready to play along as good sports. 

With our first World Series, it’s now the offseason. We await early April for a new season and a new hope. Houston has had the best of times and the worst of times in 2017. From a Super Bowl to a super flood. We’ve dried off and became World Champions. Houston Strong.

Obed: Videos for People Who are Viral

It really came out of nowhere. After the Astros parade, I learned about one fan who went locally viral for his outrageous mustache, his love for the home team, and this:

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Now Obed Ceballos is also a firefighter for the City of Houston, as well as (what I learned later), a member of the Houston Fire Department’s annual calendar of firefighters.


Now, I have been working on an easy way for video content ideas, to be given the proper attention between what kind of video should be produced. For instance, I have the ability to shoot:

  • Facebook Live
  • Live on Twitter
  • Instagram Stories Live
  • Produced, 4K Video
  • Produced 360-Degree Video
  • Facebook Live 360-Degree Video

To come up with the appropriate video format (if any), we have to address the person at hand, and the value of our time vs. projected benefit.

For Obed, we decided on a produced video. For something under two minutes, we could showcase this fan as evergreen content, for use now, and before the upcoming season.

Here is our finished video:

 


For a grand total of three hours of work, I quickly put this video together for use as a “Throwback Thursday,” after the Astros won the World Series.

I like the video for the sound, as well as many of the B Roll shots I took, excited for making even better ones in the future.

Filmed with:

  • Lumix GH5 DSLR – With kit lens
  • Rode Mic with Wind Jammer (some of the shots when it started to get windy)
  • 3-axis DSLR Stabilizer

Edited with Adobe Premier Pro.