Instagram expands advertising and support with Instagram Partners and connects Facebook

Instagram started as a simple photo sharing site. Once Facebook got involved, purchasing the 2-year old company for $715 million (first reported as 1 Billion), their intention was always to turn a profit. With the creation of Instagram Partner Program, Facebook/Instagram steps into their next evolution. Instagram started as an iPhone app on October 6, 2010. Ads, more of a type of sponsored posts, went live on Instagram on a few weeks ago, going global on September 30, 2015. The advertising update allowed for delivery of ads across both Facebook and Instagram (more info on that). Instagram Partners is similar to Google’s Adwords support where business partners have been given the authority to act as agents for Google. Instagram Partner Program is starting off with 40 partners that are specializing in three categories for businesses: ad tech which focuses on planning, buying, and optimizing ads. Community management, specializing in engagement and interaction with communities. Content marketing, which supports curation of content and sharing on the social platform. Make sure to read up on the ad platform and partners on the Instagram Tumblr page, Instagram for...

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Facebook Cuts The Fat – No More Fakers

Have you noticed a drop in your Facebook likes and/or your followers? If so, you are not alone. On March 12th, Facebook implemented a trim to there system to reduce the number of spammers, inactive accounts, and fake accounts. In doing so, many pages saw a drop in 5-12% of their likes and followers. The numbers for everyone is different but everyone may have seen some sort of drop. This should be viewed as a positive change from Facebook. By removing the ‘illusion’ of more followers, users can trust the number of likes and followers; improving the credibility of the social platform, as a whole. If you haven’t leveraged the authority provided by user engagement and reviews, you are missing out! Engagement on social networks helps build up important signals for search. Social and search play well together. Business-to-Business is a bit of a struggle on social media but consumers and clients respond well to retail, service, and product manufactures online that are active on their social platforms. Make the most of these ‘free’ resources by posting regularly, offering unique content, and engaging with your target audiences. A mix of 70/20/10 is the industry standard. 70% of the time, you should be posting engaging, meaningful content focused on user needs and relevant tips for your industry. 20% of your content on social should be industry specific; touting your knowledge or news related to the audience. Only 10% of your posts should be self-promoting. Happy socializing and Happy St. Patrick’s...

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Facebook’s Graph Search

Introducing Graph Search, by Facebook Just when you thought we were done with new search engines and change… BAM! Facebook hits us with their own version of search, Graph Search. This unique offering is not a ‘traditional’ search engine. Just as with any engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo, Blekko, etc.) the Facebook Graph Search (GS) will scour an indexed database to find what a user searches for. The difference? The index is composed only of content available on Facebook, according to users’ privacy setting and the searcher’s association with the data. As the official release from Tom Stocky and Lars Rasmussen points out, “When Facebook first launched, the main way most people used the site was to browse around, learn about people and make new connections. Graph Search takes us back to our roots and allows people to use the graph to make new connections.” That being the case, my first question or concern comes from the friend making element, making friends become less genuine and isn’t that part of Facebook policy to only make friends with individuals you actually know? According to a post from Josh Constine, in some instances users were prevented from friending others because of either some type of friending system protection or too many requests in a given period. I will be interested to see how this is impacted by GS. I know I have come across these types of ‘errors’ fairly recently and can understand their purpose, but if a secondary purpose of GS is to “make new connections” as the release says, then they have to alter these restraints. In a related discussion, Mark Zuckerberg shares a zinger that offers some insight into this new change’s purpose according to one webmasters view of the video press conference, “Graph Search is designed to take a precise query and return to you the answer, not the links where you might get the answer. ” In essence, Graph Search is Facebook’s answer to Google, the way Google+ was their answer to Facebook. Google has struggled to bring a feasible social offering in the past and made numerous mistakes along the way. I am sure that Facebook will make a number of errors as it begins to challenge the search giant. Why am I focusing on Google and not Bing too? Good that you ask. From viewing and interacting with some of the functions of the beta form of Graph, it is clear that Bing has been involved in the development process and stands to share the benefits if GS should take off as hoped. In doing some suggested searches as mentioned in the release note for, say “restaurants in San Francisco,” a number of results will be displayed along with Bing results that involve maps and organic listings. Bing results in Facebook is nothing new, that is an old partnership. It appears, with Graph Search, the partnership has never been stronger and they are now ‘going steady.’ Along with the information in the release, Facebook offers a link: [For how Graph Search can help people discover your business, visit Facebook Studio.] As you guessed, this is where the money is. Businesses will be key players in leveraging the new application as they can promote themselves and their wares in the service. Currently, there are no new ad layouts or changes to existing sponsorship plans. As we know, that will most certainly change. Although Facebook could leave GS in beta indefinitely, but there is value in bringing a product out of beta and into alpha or general release. One being that stock holders investors sponsors are more...

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