Facebook’s News Feed – it’s all about the algorithm.

How does Facebook decide what to show in a News Feed?

facebook great image

Here are the factors, according to our research and supported by those clever bods over to BufferApp, that may tend to determine whether your post shows up or not.

Please remember this algorithm changes… At the time of press, so to speak i.e. November 2014

The algorithm loves …

  • Posts with lots of comments
  • Posts with lots of likes
  • Post types that users seem to prefer more than others (e.g., photo, video, or status update)
  • Posts that reference a trending topic
  • Posts that receive a high volume of likes, comments, or shares in a short time
  • Link posts
  • Videos uploaded to Facebook that receive a large number of views or extended viewing duration
  • Posts that tag other pages within the text
  • Posts that are liked or commented on by one’s friends
  • Posts from pages that one interacts with often
  • Post types that one interacts with often
  • Posts from pages with complete profile information
  • Posts from pages where the fan base overlaps with the fan base of other known high-quality pages
  • Images and videos that have not previously appeared in the Open Graph
  • Links that have not been posted before

Don’t do this: The algorithm is not too keen on …

  • Clickbait
  • Frequently circulated content and repeated posts
  • Like-baiting
  • Posts that include spammy links
  • Text-only status updates from pages
  • Posts that are frequently hidden or reported (a sign of low quality)
  • Posts that contain the words “like, comment, or share”
  • Posts with unusual engagement patters (a like-baiting signal)
  • Posts that receive negative feedback categorizes as “meme content”
  • Posts that are classified as memes by Facebook’s visual analysis of overlayed text on image

4 factors that increase visibility:

  1. How often you interact with the friend, Page, or public figure (like an actor or journalist) who posted
  2. The number of likes, shares and comments a post receives from the world at large and from your friends in particular
  3. How much you have interacted with this type of post in the past
  4. Whether or not you and other people across Facebook are hiding or reporting a given post

So in conclusion:

  • The total number of comments and likes on a post impact visibility.
  • The post type—photo, video, or status update—impacts visibility.
  • Posts that reference a trending topic may receive higher visibility.
  • The timing of when likes, comments, and shares occur on a post impacts visibility.
  • Clickbait drives down the visibility of a post.
  • The views and viewing duration of videos uploaded to Facebook impact visibility.
  • Frequently circulated content and repeated posts are shown less.
  • Posts that include spammy links are shown less.
  • Text-only status updates from pages are shown less.
  • Posts that are liked or commented on by friends may be shown more.
  • Tagging other pages within a post may increase visibility.
  • Link posts receive preference over links shared in photo captions or status updates.

Psychology of online shopping: Men vs Women


Have you ever wondered if there’s a difference between how men and women shop online? What can you do to persuade each sex to buy from your website? This infographic by Minewhat showcases 18 strategies you can use to persuade both men and women to buy from you.

psychology of shopping


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Do You – YouTube? Some amazing stats…

youtubeJust seen these stats from YouTube which has reminded me, once again, to do do more video content for our clients.

We are putting youtube and vine promotions as part of our new Social Media 2.0 workshop.

But in the meantime, before we release that: Some amazing youtube stats for you.

More than 1 billion unique users visit YouTube each month.

Over 6 billion hours of video are watched each month on YouTube—that’s almost an hour for every person on Earth.

100 hours of video are uploaded to YouTube every minute.

80% of YouTube traffic comes from outside the US.

YouTube is localized in 61 countries and across 61 languages

According to Nielsen, YouTube reaches more US adults aged 18-34 than any cable network.

Millions of subscriptions happen each day. The number of people subscribing daily is up more than 3 times since last year, and the number of daily subscriptions is up more than 4 times since last year.

Now I know these are from America but you get the general idea.

Video is getting bigger and bigger. Is video part of your marketing mix yet?

Maybe my client at Now Try That – a marketing tool made for digital campaign analysis should try to invest in some video before too long.

Why your business should be using Facebook Advertising….

Our start up starts here.

facebook great image

Here are the facts on Facebook….

It has:

1.32 billion monthly active users (Facebook) and 829 million daily active users (Facebook) which shows you the scope of marketing on the platform.

654 million mobile DAUs (Facebook) and 1.07 mobile monthly active users which is important when you think about your ads.

With a loyal following of engaged users as the average time spent monthly per user is 6.35 hours (Quick Sprout)

Facebook gets you traffic. Lots of it.

3.2 billion likes and comments daily (Quick Sprout)

Which is why Facebook is still a powerhouse for referrals – with 23.39 percent of social media traffic referrals (June 2014) (Shareaholic)

For many of my clients this number is a LOT higher.

Facebook has around 64 percent of global social sharing (ShareThis)

Customer service?

Industries that receive the most customer questions on Facebook:

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The 4 types of online advertising. Which one is best for you?

Our start up starts here.

Pay Per ClickA great blog post about digital / online advertising originally in Open Global and re-edited for NowTryThat. 

The whole point of using technology in business could be argued to be to make more money by spending less money. Letting the technology do the work for you and maximising your returns. 

This is the way it was from day one. The internet is no different.

“Offline advertising is very risky. You take a risk and if the advertising works, you make money. If the advertising doesn’t work, you lose money. But the internet can take all of this risk away.

So it’s a shame that more companies are losing money advertising online than are making money, because they are advertising using offline advertising techniques instead using the technology available.

There are basically 4 ways to advertise online, going through a spectrum from most risky, to no risk at all.

If you do…

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7 Effective Tips to Consistently Come Up With Engaging Content

Online Marketing Hub


One of the tragedies of content marketing is that people think it’s easy. The truth is that it isn?t easy by any stretch of the imagination. There are plenty of  harsh and unpopular truths going around about content marketing, this is one of the more unpalatable ones.

I call it a tragedy because in thinking it’s not that a big deal, marketers end up making mistakes that can take the content marketing strategy down. Take for example the case of content creation, which is a mission critical content marketing activity. Without content, there is no content strategy. What’s more, you need to come up with engaging content all the time to make sure your strategy delivers results. Experienced content marketers will tell you that one of the most difficult aspects of content marketing is making it a habit to come up with content that target audiences will love going…

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Monday Funday: travel special!

Interesting marketing….


Good morning Monday Funday-lovers! I am speaking to you from the past. I had to write this post in advance because I’m on holiday right now – today now, not the ‘in the past’ now. Try and keep up. To mark my being away on my hols I’ve got an extra special travel-themed Monday Funday for you. Buy your tickets, buckle up and put your seatbacks in the upright position – the good ship Monday Funday is about to weigh anchor.


Brita has come up with a campaign based all around the awkward scenarios that might arise on public transport. The brand has come up with some print ads that are splashed all over public transport, as well as a raft of YouTube vids fronted by feted stand-up Russell Kane. Unfortunately, Russell Kane isn’t very funny and the videos aren’t either. Here’s one:

Often awkwardness is funny, think the first series…

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Thunder and Lightning and Social Media Super Success (the #icebucketchallenge)

ligthening strikes Yesterday I was on BBC Stoke Radio for a little while answering questions about why the #icebucketchallenge has become such a viral phenomena.

I used the analogy of lightning and how it has be part of a perfect storm of technology and psychology. 

I didn’t have time to say that much and I was told is would be edited which it wasn’t but you can hear it here.

Starts around 1.08 minutes in and lasts about 5 minutes. 


My point is still valid – which is that trying to predict a viral sensation is like predicted where and when lightning will strike. And as we know for millions of hours of manpower and billions of pounds in investment in meteorology that the weather alone is hard enough to predict. 

So why are we trying to predict both? 

One reason is the amount of power in lightening (or a social media phenomena).

“A typical lightning bolt contains about 15 million volts of electricity and instantly heats up the air around it to over 60,000 degrees, with some reaching more than 100,000 degrees. That’s why the total energy of a strong thunderstorm can exceed the energy released during an atomic explosion. Power of Lightning – Department of Atmospheric Sciences

For it’s mirror the #icebucketchallenge as a phenomena has created more than £50 million in charity donations in a month. So the power of both is potentially amazing. 

The other reason we investigate it is because the onlooker wants us to.i.e. lightning is impressive, for the media the #icebucketchallenge is amazing. We all want answers. 

lighetning amazing

We look to the heavens for answers naturally.

From a scientific POV, “Thunderstorms are an amazing natural spectacle, but even more amazing is the fact that we still don’t totally understand the processes which create lightning. What we do know is that lightning is a discharge of the static electricity that builds up in clouds in certain weather conditions”

So sadly, in reality, even through it amazing.

Lightning is not God – it is scientifically produced. But it is awe inspiring like God (or the belief in God.)

Marketing wise, the #icebucketchallenge obeys certain rules as well (12 of which I blog about here.) 

Another way that this is all like a Thunderstorm.

Is that one of the rules in weather is that thunder has to come AFTER lightning. Here I think the thunder is like being on the radio or the BBC breakfast sofa talking about after the “event”.

Scientifically explained “Lightning always comes just before thunder because it is the heat of lightning that causes thunder. Lightning is seen when there is a discharge of atmospheric electricity in the clouds or between clouds and the ground. The energy from the lightning heats the air and causes a sudden expansion of the air (followed by a rapid contraction), which results in the sound called thunder.”*

Marketing wise, the traditional media is now the thunder, turning up with a bang after the event, making everyone realize what’s happened but always coming after it. Social media now makes lightening happen first. The newspapers thunder on about whether it is a good or a bad thing. Which, of course, missing the point. Lightning is neither good or bad – it just is. Unless you get stuck by it or it sets fire to something…. but again this is subjective. 

But can you harness viral? 

The reported for the BBC, didn’t seem to like my answer that you couldn’t predict virality but I truly believe you cannot. Which is why it’s so amazing when it happens like this.lightening in a bottle

What worries me in marketing is that people want to know because we think we can harness it i.e. lightening or viral sensations (or even worse capture it in a bottle.)

From a scientific POV, it might not even be that great if you COULD power homes off lightning.  

As even in the best location on earth, the east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, near Kifuka, where every year about 158 strikes take place per square kilometre.

Even if all of the energy from these strikes was captured with 100 per cent efficiency over an area of 5 square kilometres, it would supply only 236 average UK homes. 

As they report “If ALL its energy could be captured, an average lightning bolt would provide about 5 billion joules, equivalent to 0.85 barrels of oil. But there are problems capturing all of this, not least that the electrical energy arrives sporadically in time and place. It also delivers extremely high power, which makes capturing the energy problematic as any conductors must be able to carry high power without suffering damage – melting at high temperatures.”

micehal fishSo in the end you cannot harness lightning that easily, just like social it has a mind of it’s own, just like social, lightening strikes and often the most during hot days and lazy nights.

Whilst those who try to predict it – can end up looking foolish – and those who tried to contain it do so at their peril. 

The biggest thing perhaps is that we can learn more and more when these storms and strikes happen and just marvel at how amazing it all is.

Plus, remind ourselves that this is probably why we invented electricity, as something we could manage and turn on and off, a little like PPC marketing in the end.