Which Social Media Network Makes Us Feel the Worst? [New Data]

I cannot tell you the number of times I’ve deactivated Facebook, re-joined, and deactivated again, only to repeat the process. 

It began last fall, where much of social media was full of contention and — as it was later revealed — dripping with promoted political content with links to Russia.

Everyone was digitally screaming at each other, loathing and lamenting until, come November, I thought to myself, “Enough already. I’m outta here.”

Sound familiar to anyone?

If so, you’re not alone, and you certainly aren’t limited to being joined by experience. After running a consumer survey in Australia, the UK, and the U.S., we discovered that out of six social networks — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Snapchat, Instagram, and YouTube — 43% percent of respondents said that Facebook makes them feel the worst.

So, why is this happening — besides the personal reasons listed above? And for marketers who rely on Facebook to maintain and build an audience, what are you supposed to do with this information?

Hey. We’ve got you. Let’s take a look at some of our additional data, and see what you can do from here.

Facebook Makes Us Feel the Worst: What That Means and What to Do About It

The Data

So, we hate to break it to you, but while Facebook might make us feel worse than other social media networks, it seems like these digital communities are making us generally unhappy.

On average, about a third of respondents say that they “feel awful,” or close to it, after visiting social media sites — remember, this is across the board, not just Facebook. While that may not seem like too much more than the average 12% who say they “feel great,” it’s still not exactly an encouraging number.

After all, our optimism dictates that these networks weren’t created to divide, even if that’s how some groups have leveraged them within the past two years. Rather, they were created to keep friends and family connected, and eventually evolved as platforms to promote shareable content. 

But as these networks have evolved, so has the content distributed on it — 62% of U.S. adults consume news primarily through social media, 66% of whom do so via Facebook. So, is that what’s making us miserable? If I’m being honest, it would appear that bad news has been taking the lead lately.

That could be why, when we asked respondents which type of content stands out most to them on Facebook, the primary response was “posts from friends and family.” Whether that content makes them feel good or bad isn’t clear — but I imagine that, among the noise and ads (which an average of 45% of respondents say they “really dislike”), content from familiar faces might be welcome for consumption.


What to Do With This Information

I know — this data is kind of a downer. After all, if people start to stray from Facebook because it makes them so unhappy, then it might not be of much use to your brand.

But it’s not all bad news, if you’ll excuse the pun. People are still using Facebook — after all, just look at this user data:

In a way, our findings create an opportunity for marketers on Facebook. You can modify your brand’s presence to stand out among the content that could be making users unhappy, and instead, draws them to your page and makes them want to share your content. And no, that doesn’t mean you have to shift your Facebook strategy to dog videos and riddles — although, if someone could get on that, I certainly wouldn’t mind having a look.

However, it does mean that you can revisit the idea of what drew your audience to your brand in the first place. You can build upon the more positive elements of the answer to that question to provide content that stands out among the more negative noise.

But what does that content look like? Here are three key characteristics to start with.

1) Relevant

While it’s tempting, you don’t have to pretend that bad things don’t happen and that unhappiness doesn’t exist. However, you can address it on your Facebook Page in a way that emphasizes and encourages optimism.

Do you have employees who are volunteering to help with hurricane relief efforts? Are you donating a portion of your proceeds to an organization that does so? You can draw attention to those things without bragging about them by emphasizing a sense of solidarity. After all, there’s a reason why these Pages and networks are sometimes called “communities”: They’re groups of users that share a common interest.

2) Helpful

That said, you still have to maintain relevance to your brand and the product or service it provides, as well as the world-at-large. One of the primary tenets of inbound marketing is to create content that is both aligned with your product or service, and answers the questions that your audience is likely to have. Don’t abandon that. Rather, continue to establish yourself as an authentic, helpful Page that, despite all of the other less-than-awesome stuff that appears on Facebook, stands out as an oasis with resources that serve and assist.

3) Familiar

Remember those data points about content from friends and family standing out the most? In a way, that goes back to the idea of your Page serving as a community of people with a shared interest. Again, what drew this audience to your brand in the first place? How do they feel when they see your name or your other creative assets? You may need to ask these questions of your users to truly know how you’re perceived, but in these troubled times, it can pay to maintain consistency and stability in the type of content you distribute, and the way you do so. Keep that in mind as you create the copy that you share with Facebook posts, like videos or images.

And, if all else fails, don’t be afraid to check in with your audience. Try something like, “It’s Friday! How’s everyone doing?” It’s neutral, friendly, and conveys that you care.

So, how does everyone feel now? Tinker around with these ideas and see how they go.

Oh, and about those dog videos …

https://www.facebook.com/plugins/video.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2Fharlowandsage%2Fvideos%2F1513581405345320%2F&show_text=0&width=476

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How Links in Headers, Footers, Content, and Navigation Can Impact SEO – Whiteboard Friday

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Which link is more valuable: the one in your nav, or the one in the content of your page? Now, how about if one of those in-content links is an image, and one is text? Not all links are created equal, and getting familiar with the details will help you build a stronger linking structure.

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How Links in Headers, Footers, Content, and Navigation Can Impact SEO

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Video Transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re going to chat about links in headers and footers, in navigation versus content, and how that can affect both internal and external links and the link equity and link value that they pass to your website or to another website if you’re linking out to them.

So I’m going to use Candy Japan here. They recently crossed $1 million in sales. Very proud of Candy Japan. They sell these nice boxes of random assortments of Japanese candy that come to your house. Their website is actually remarkably simplistic. They have some footer links. They have some links in the content, but not a whole lot else. But I’m going to imagine them with a few more links in here just for our purposes.

It turns out that there are a number of interesting items when it comes to internal linking. So, for example, some on-page links matter more and carry more weight than other kinds. If you are smart and use these across your entire site, you can get some incremental or potentially some significant benefits depending on how you do it.

Do some on-page links matter more than others?

So, first off, good to know that…

I. Content links tend to matter more

…just broadly speaking, than navigation links. That shouldn’t be too surprising, right? If I have a link down here in the content of the page pointing to my Choco Puffs or my Gummies page, that might actually carry more weight in Google’s eyes than if I point to it in my navigation.

Now, this is not universally true, but observably, it seems to be the case. So when something is in the navigation, it’s almost always universally in that navigation. When something is in here, it’s often only specifically in here. So a little tough to tell cause and effect, but we can definitely see this when we get to external links. I’ll talk about that in a sec.

II. Links in footers often get devalued

So if there’s a link that you’ve got in your footer, but you don’t have it in your primary navigation, whether that’s on the side or the top, or in the content of the page, a link down here may not carry as much weight internally. In fact, sometimes it seems to carry almost no weight whatsoever other than just the indexing.

III. More used links may carry more weight

This is a theory for now. But we’ve seen some papers on this, and there has been some hypothesizing in the SEO community that essentially Google is watching as people browse the web, and they can get that data and sort of see that, hey, this is a well-trafficked page. It gets a lot of visits from this other page. This navigation actually seems to get used versus this other navigation, which doesn’t seem to be used.

There are a lot of ways that Google might interpret that data or might collect it. It could be from the size of it or the CSS qualities. It could be from how it appears on the page visually. But regardless, that also seems to be the case.

IV. Most visible links may get more weight

This does seem to be something that’s testable. So if you have very small fonts, very tiny links, they are not nearly as accessible or obvious to visitors. It seems to be the case that they also don’t carry as much weight in Google’s rankings.

V. On pages with multiple links to the same URL

For example, let’s say I’ve got this products link up here at the top, but I also link to my products down here under Other Candies, etc. It turns out that Google will see both links. They both point to the same page in this case, both pointing to the same page over here, but this page will only inherit the value of the anchor text from the first link on the page, not both of them.

So Other Candies, etc., that anchor text will essentially be treated as though it doesn’t exist. Google ignores multiple links to the same URL. This is actually true internal and external. For this reason, if you’re going ahead and trying to stuff in links in your internal content to other pages, thinking that you can get better anchor text value, well look, if they’re already in your navigation, you’re not getting any additional value. Same case if they’re up higher in the content. The second link to them is not carrying the anchor text value.

Can link location/type affect external link impact?

Other items to note on the external side of things and where they’re placed on pages.

I. In-content links are going to be more valuable than footers or nav links

In general, nav links are going to do better than footers. But in content, this primary content area right in here, that is where you’re going to get the most link value if you have the option of where you’re going to get an external link from on a page.

II. What if you have links that open in a new tab or in a new window versus links that open in the same tab, same window?

It doesn’t seem to matter at all. Google does not appear to carry any different weight from the experiments that we’ve seen and the ones we’ve conducted.

III. Text links do seem to perform better, get more weight than image links with alt attributes

They also seem to perform better than JavaScript links and other types of links, but critically important to know this, because many times what you will see is that a website will do something like this. They’ll have an image. This image will be a link that will point off to a page, and then below it they’ll have some sort of caption with keyword-rich anchors down here, and that will also point off. But Google will treat this first link as though it is the one, and it will be the alt attribute of this image that passes the anchor text, unless this is all one href tag, in which case you do get the benefit of the caption as the anchor. So best practice there.

IV. Multiple links from same page — only the first anchor counts

Well, just like with internal links, only the first anchor is going to count. So if I have two links from Candy Japan pointing to me, it’s only the top one that Google sees first in the HTML. So it’s not where it’s organized in the site as it renders visually, but where it comes up in the HTML of the page as Google is rendering that.

V. The same link and anchor on many or most or all pages on a website tends to get you into trouble.

Not always, not universally. Sometimes it can be okay. Is Amazon allowed to link to Whole Foods from their footer? Yes, they are. They’re part of the same company and group and that kind of thing. But if, for example, Amazon were to go crazy spamming and decided to make it “cheap avocados delivered to your home” and put that in the footer of all their pages and point that to the WholeFoods.com/avocadodelivery page, that would probably get penalized, or it may just be devalued. It might not rank at all, or it might not pass any link equity. So notable that in the cases where you have the option of, “Should I get a link on every page of a website? Well, gosh, that sounds like a good deal. I’d pass all this page rank and all this link equity.” No, bad deal.

Instead, far better would be to get a link from a page that’s already linked to by all of these pages, like, hey, if we can get a link from the About page or from the Products page or from the homepage, a link on the homepage, those are all great places to get links. I don’t want a link on every page in the footer or on every page in a sidebar. That tends to get me in trouble, especially if it is anchor text-rich and clearly keyword targeted and trying to manipulate SEO.

All right, everyone. I look forward to your questions. We’ll see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

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Did Samsung Just One-Up Apple on Its Cool Factor?

Let’s cut right to the chase: At this week’s Samsung Developer Conference, the event’s namesake announced a bunch of really cool new stuff.

And we’ll get to it — I promise.

But before we do, I want to point out what really resonated with me — perhaps even more than all of the neat new products and features: the emerging topics and trends.

These are things that many of we marketers, in our day-to-day work and responsibilities, don’t give much thought to. Things like, say, a virtual-assistant-equipped refrigerator, or the latest and greatest software development kits (SDK). 

But it’s time that we do. Think about some of the pieces of technology or up-and-coming topics that, maybe five years ago, we thought had nothing to do with us. Those of us who ignored them quickly fell behind the curve. And so, over the next few weeks, I’ll be dissecting the following topics and breaking down why they’re important for marketers to keep an eye on.”

So let’s stay ahead of it. In addition to the below summary of everything that was announced at the Samsung Developer Conference, over the next few weeks, I’ll be dissecting the related topics — breaking down why they’re important for marketers to keep an eye on.

Here Are the Samsung Announcements You Missed

1) Bixby

To put Bixby in context, some describe it as Samsung’s version of Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant. It is, in fewer words, Samsung’s own virtual assistant, and it’s becoming increasingly built into a range of the brand’s products to create what it calls an “intelligent ecosystem.”

Bixby isn’t exactly new — but Bixby 2.0, which took center stage at the opening keynote and subsequent breakout sessions, is. One of the biggest differentiators for 2.0, said Vice President and Service Intelligence Team Leader Brad Park, is that it’s open, which essentially means that its code is available to developers to use, modify, and redistribute by way of something original that they use it to build. That availability will begin with a private beta program and become available to the general public in 2018.

The process, he said, was to “make everything voice-first … and then, see what the user wants.” That’s important — remember, this event is first and foremost designed for developers. Within the context of that remark from Park, that’s why w the open source nature of the Bixby SDK is so important. By making it open, developers will be able to personalize the technology in a way that helps determine how users actually want to, well, use it.

And as marketers, that’s where we potentially play a vital role. It’s our job, in large part, to understand and reach the end user — and now, we have a greater opportunity than ever to partner with developers to reach these users in an innovative way.

The other main emphasis, however, was on Bixby’s availability across a number of devices — like Samsung Smart TVs and the Family Hub refrigerator — which is where the ecosystem comes into play. That’s where another key differentiator of Bixby 2.0 — the aforementioned “voice search” approach, which gives it better natural language capabilities that can help it distinguish between users.

That was one of the biggest early issues that users took with Alexa, for example, illustrating the growing influence of a demand for personalization. But it goes beyond voice recognition — Bixby uses machine learning, too, to anticipate what individual end users will ask it to do. 

2) The Internet of Things

First, a brief vocabulary lesson. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the technology that uses internet connectivity to allow in-home devices and appliances — like your lights, security system, or refrigerator — to be controlled remotely by devices like our phones. In other words, it’s the thing that allows you to turn your lights on or off from your phone when you’re out of town.

Okay, back to that “intelligent ecosystem” and where Bixby plays a role within it. Previously, Samsung had a handful of fragmented IoT platforms: SmartThings (a suite of products that would help “smartify” the otherwise disconnected or “dumb” things in your home), Samsung Connect (the automation system that allowed users to actually execute the smart technology), and ARTIK (the platform that connects and adds security to all of the pieces of a user’s IoT experience). 

But during the opening keynote, Samsung announced the cohesive SmartThings Cloud, which brings all of the above under a single hub that allows all of these previously fragmented IoT pieces under one, central “touchpoint.” 

Here, again, is where the ability for Bixby to be broadly applied and personalized becomes crucial. Within the announcements pertaining to these new IoT initiatives came the unveiling of Project Ambience: a noticeably small dongle that can be plugged into home objects and devices — like an everyday speaker, for example — and turn them into “smart,” connected devices that are equipped with the Bixby experience.

So, why does that matter to you? Think about it: as the technology to turn anything into our homes into something that’s “smart” and connected, not only will it become increasingly easier for users to request and receive information, but the demand for quick solutions will also continue to grow. We’ll get into the specifics of how marketers can leverage these developments in future posts, but for now, it’s certainly an area to watch.

3) An AR Partnership With Google

If you read the previous section and thought, “Sounds like Samsung might be trying to play on Google’s playing field,” you’re not alone. I had the same thought — and then came the announcement of a partnership.

Surprisingly, there weren’t any explicit product announcements about virtual reality, which came as a personal surprise given the heavy presence of the Samsung Gear at last week’s Oculus Connect event. But to continue its progress within VR, Samsung implied, it has to also focus on building an augmented reality (AR) presence.

And that makes sense. Throughout last week’s Oculus Connect keynote, for example, numerous speakers spoke to the importance of making VR accessible, but failed to identify the tangible and incremental steps they would take to make it so. AR, which will be available on a significant number of recent phone models from a variety of manufacturers, is something of a gateway to VR, particularly when it comes to an untethered (not requiring connection to a larger piece of hardware) experience.

Now, Samsung has partnered with Google for yet another open source initiative. Developers will have access to Google’s ARCore SDK to create AR experiences that will be available on such Samsung devices as the Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, and Galaxy Note8.

Pardon the pun, but this move seems, well, smart. It could be interpreted as a response to Apple’s ARKIT, which provides developers with open source code to create AR experiences for Apple devices — namely, the iPhone and iPad.

Here’s another opportunity for marketers to leverage this information availability to create immersive experiences for their audiences. Not ready to build a full-blown VR experience? Start with AR. It will likely be available to a larger pool of users (after all, they can access it right from their mobile devices), and allows them to integrate your product or service into their respective environments, just by downloading an app.

I mean … I’m excited. As both a marketer and a journalist, these developments are huge. And if you take advantage of them now, I might even consider you a trailblazer — and your peers likely will, too.

But there’s still about half a day left of the Samsung Developer Conference, so feel free to follow along with all of the cool stuff I’m learning about here on Twitter, or let me know if you have a question about it.

Create a website with SEO in mind: Technical pointers

After a lot of its and buts, you have finally decided to create a website. A personal website for yourself, or that long overdue website for your business. You know you have to think about design and should supply well-written texts. You’ve already been inquiring about that thing called hosting. You may even have called someone that can build your website for you. All in all, you’re pretty confident that you can now start a website without any problems. But wait. Have you thought about this little thing called SEO?

Become a technical SEO expert with our Technical SEO 1 training! »

Technical SEO 1 training

Info

Create your website with SEO in mind

A large part of the search engine optimization process starts with focus: what is your website about? You have to focus on what we sometimes call ‘top tasks’. It’s a term used in mobile UX but it most certainly also goes for that moment when you decide to create a website from scratch. What is the purpose of a visitor coming to your website? And how can we make the journey of that visitor a pleasant journey?

When we discuss SEO with people that want to create a website, we focus on two main areas:

  • The technical side of things
  • Filling the website with content

In this post, I’ll highlight a number of important technical issues. In a follow-up post, I will go into the content side of things.

The technical side of things

With WordPress, it’s easy to build a website yourself. But a lot of you have probably hired a web agency to construct your website for you. That doesn’t mean you can sit back and wait for them to finish. There are a lot of things you can check and optimize yourself.

Speed optimization

One thing you want to pay attention to is the speed of your future website. You can easily check that on websites like Google PageSpeed Insights, or Pingdom. In an ideal world, your web agency has already tested things and your own check of your site’s speed will result in nothing but greens and great ratings. If not, these tools will tell you exactly where you can improve. That could be an image of several MBs that slows down the loading of a page, or the loading of an excessive number of JavaScript files, just to name a few.

If you want to learn more about speed optimization, please read Site Speed: tools and suggestions. And make sure your new website is as fast as possible.

URL Structure

Since you are setting up a new site, you still have full control over your URL structure. In most cases, focus is your friend here. Including dates in blog URLs that aren’t related to dates is my favorite example of what not to do. You just don’t need a date in there, unless you are a news website and that date does matter.

For shop websites, focus the URL on your product. Do people use SKUs to find your products? Include one in the URL. If not, please leave them out. Ground-rule: strip your URLs from anything that’s unnecessary. And if we’re honest: /blog/ isn’t a useful addition to your URL, neither is /shop/.

A small remark about the length of your URL: if you use focus, your URL will never need to be too long. I’m not against long URLs, especially since Google seems to leave them out of the search result pages in a growing number of cases. But a shorter, logical URL is easier to remember. And easier to share offline, for that matter.

Heading tags

One of my favorite subjects: heading tags. HTML5 allows for one H1 per block element, am I right? I still recommend against that. If you use one H1 and one H1 only, you need to make very clear for yourself what the subject or focus keyword of that page is. By restricting yourself to that one H1, you most definitely will add focus to that page. It’ll help you to properly optimize – read more about that further down in this post.

It’s simple:

Make it responsive

The mobile version of your website is equally important, if not more important than the desktop version. Mobile-first, they say. Fact is, that your website probably has as many mobile visitors as it has desktop visitors, of course depending on the type of site you have. I think, therefore, that a responsive site should be the default for every website that has been built in 2010 or later. We all use our mobile devices to browse the web, and your website should be ready for that.

If your web developer tells you that the website is accessible from a mobile device, don’t just trust him/her. Go over your mobile website yourself and check if you, as a visitor, can do all you want and need to do there. I already mentioned our article on mobile UX; use that as a reference when testing your mobile site yourself.

Read more: ‘Mobile SEO: the ultimate guide’ »

Local optimization

We have written a lot about structured data. Using structured data, you can serve Google your address details in the most convenient way. With for instance JSON, or using our Local SEO for WordPress plugin, you can insert a snippet that will help Google to fix your website/business to a location. This information is used for local searches, but will also end up in Google’s Knowledge Graph:

Apple NY Knowledge Graph

So if your business or website is related to an actual location, be sure to optimize for that part of your site right from the start as well. And definitely add your LocalBusiness data right now, if you haven’t done that already 🙂

Track your traffic

Let’s not forget this one. I have seen my share of websites where the owner told me that conversion was low or that nobody filled out their contact form. But the owner had no idea how many people got to his/her website. No idea what the main landing pages or exit pages were.

If you are serious about your website, at least install Google Analytics or any other preferred statistics app. Collect data about your visitors, and find out what the customer journey on your website is. Find out what pages people like and which pages they dislike. If you want to know more about Google Analytics, please visit our Google Analytics archives for related posts. When you start a website, don’t wait too long before adding Google Analytics, so you can see your traffic grow from day one.

Get your technical aspects right

If you have covered the technical issues of a new website, you’ll have properly prepared your site for all the great content you’ll be adding. Adding content is the next big step in building an awesome website! We’ll deal with how to approach that in a follow-up post tomorrow.

Keep reading: ‘WordPress SEO: The definitive guide to higher rankings for WordPress sites’ »

The post Create a website with SEO in mind: Technical pointers appeared first on Yoast.

How to Understand Facebook Insights for Social Video

Hi. I’m Nick, and I’m new to the HubSpot Marketing Blog. But I’m not new to HubSpot.

I’ve been working at HubSpot for over a year now, and in that time, I’ve created more than 50 videos for HubSpot’s Facebook page.

And over the last year, we’ve grown our organic Facebook video views by nearly 250%. We used a lot of different content creation strategies to change our approach to Facebook videos, and knowing specifically what to track — and why — was a critical part of measuring our success and growth.

Enter Facebook Videos Insights: Facebook’s metrics panel that tells you anything and everything you’d want to know about how your videos are performing on the platform. In this post, I’ll take you through why you should be creating videos for Facebook (if you aren’t already), what the different metrics mean in Facebook Insights, and which five metrics are the most important to measure.

Why Use Facebook to Create Videos?

1) Bigger Audience

At more than two billion users, Facebook is used by almost one-third of the world’s population. That kind of audience isn’t anything to sneeze at, and you should take advantage by publishing video content on the platform.

What’s more, Facebook users spend more than 100 million hours per day watching videos on the platform — almost as much as Netflix. Facebook has a huge audience that’s engaged in video content consumption — so why wouldn’t you post videos on the platform?

2) The News Feed Algorithm

The algorithm that dictates what content is served up in users’ News Feed heavily favors video content — especially if it’s produced live, or if a lot of users are engaging with it (more on that later). Videos on Facebook are more likely to get surfaced to users unfamiliar with your content — thereby growing your audience and leading to more video views.

3) It’s Easy … ish

It’s easier than ever to create and publish video content on Facebook. You can start broadcasting using Facebook Live with the press of a button, and you can even record high-quality videos with a smartphone. With numerous free editing software options and a video camera in your pocket, there’s no reason to wait to start filming for Facebook.

11 Key Facebook Video Metrics to Understand

To access these metrics, navigate to the “Insights” tab on the Facebook Page you manage.

facebook-insights.png

From this tab, scroll down to the “Videos” section on the left-hand side, and click on the video post you want to analyze.

facebook-video-insights-panel.png

1) Video Views

“Video views” represents the number of users who watched your video for three seconds (or more).

video-views-insights.png

2) 10-Second Views

This metric is the number of users who watched your video for 10 seconds (or more). This number is typically smaller than the number of three-second video views, but ideally, the number is close — indicating that users started watching your video and stayed for at least seven more seconds to keep watching.

10-second-views-insights.png

3) Minutes Viewed

“Minutes viewed” is the total amount of time users have spent watching your video (in aggregate).

minutes viewed.png

4) Video Average Watch Time

This metric is the average amount of time each user spent watching your video. It’s calculated by dividing the total minutes viewed of your video by the number of video views.

video avg watch time.png

5) Average Percent Watched

“Average percent watched” represents what percentage of your video the average user watched.

average precent watched.png

6) Audience Retention

“Audience retention” represents how well you’re able to maintain your video’s audience by visualizing where during your video viewers dropped off.

audience retention facebook.png

7) Reach

“Reach” represents how many users saw your video somewhere on Facebook — in other words, how many users your video reached.

facebook video reach.png

8) View Rate

Your video’s view rate isn’t a metric provided by Facebook, but it’s a good number to calculate on your own. Divide the number of video views your video earned by the total reach. That will indicate how many users actually decided to watch your video, out of the number of users who saw it.

9) Volume On

This metric indicates how many users viewed your video with the volume turned on or muted. This number is particularly valuable because, as recently as last year, 85% of Facebook users watched videos without sound.

sound on facebook.png

Last month, Facebook began auto-playing News Feed videos with sound, so we’ll be interested to see how this percentage evolves. Here at HubSpot, we’ve started creating videos that are volume-agnostic, or indicating with captions and graphics that the user should turn on the volume to get the full effect of the content.

10) Reactions, Comments & Shares

This engagement metric includes likes, reactions (like anger, sadness, and laughter), comments, and shares of your video. These are indicators that your video is resonating with — or at least provoking — your audience, and this engagement helps your video rank higher in the Facebook News Feed algorithm.

reactions facebook video.png

11) Clicks

clicks facebook video-1.png

Clicks to Play

The “clicks to play” metric indicates the number of users who clicked on your video to watch it.

Link Clicks

The “link clicks” metric indicates the number of users who clicked on the link in your Facebook video post.

The Best Facebook Insights to Measure

1) Reach

It doesn’t matter how many followers you have if they aren’t seeing your posts. And since Facebook switched to an algorithm-based News Feed, reach has become more important than ever.

Since Facebook started down-rating posts from brands and publishers in the News Feed, make sure you’re optimizing your organic reach by posting on Facebook no more than three times per day.

2) 10-Second Views

This metric is more meaningful than three-second views because a user could be scrolling, and not even really be watching. In fact, Facebook had a controversy with that earlier this year, when they were found to be inflating video view numbers using this metric.

3) View Rate

This metric represents how many people are watching your video relative to your total reach, and it tells you how relevant or catchy your topic is — or if it’s not resonating with your audience.

4) Shares

This is the ultimate engagement metric, and it’s another measure of relevancy. As a bonus, shares earn you more organic reach when you get free exposure to users’ friend circles.

5) Average Watch Time

This metric tells you how engaging your video is. What’s more, Facebook cares about this metric and provides greater organic reach for more engaging videos in the News Feed.

So, there you have it. Make sure you’re focused on the right metrics — and not just vanity metrics — when you publish your next video on Facebook so you can keep iterating on what works to better engage with your audience.

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18 Fun Corporate Team-Building Activities & Outing Ideas Everyone Will Enjoy

Starting to notice some droopy shoulders around the office? Sounds like it’s time to plan a team outing.

Team outings are a great way to facilitate bonding with your team members, reduce employee stress, and give them the chance to get to know one another outside of the office.

And, you know, they’re really fun.

But how do you find ideas for a great team outing? Maybe you start with a Google search for “team outing ideas” and stumble upon an article that suggests “field trips” and “professional development activities.” Sounds like a starting point, but where’s the real excitement?

Next time you plan an outing for your team, cut the trust falls and get one of these ideas on the calendar instead.

Corporate Team-Building Activities, Games, and Exercises for Work

1) Scavenger Hunt

Find a beautiful day, break everyone out into groups, and have a scavenger hunt around the city. You can organize one yourself, or use an app like Stray Boots. Your team will feel nice and rejuvenated after some fresh air and fun challenges. Be sure to take plenty of silly pictures — you can even have a slideshow when everyone regroups at the end.

Team Outing Ideas: Scavenger Hunt

2) Cook-Off

Here’s a culinary team-building activity that could end in dessert or disaster — in a fun way. Creating new dishes together requires creativity and will require everyone to put their team and leadership skills into action. Divide your team into smaller teams, pick a food category, and challenge each team to whip up something delicious. The category could be anything from ice cream, to salsa, to pizza.

One fun twist you could add? Pick a single ingredient that all teams must use, like maple syrup or Oreos. Or, have each team get creative with the shape of its food — you can make pizzas into almost any shape.

ice-cream-challenge.jpg

Source: Teambonding.com

3) Improv Workshop

Comedy and improv events are fun, interactive experiences that’ll have your employees roaring with laughter while teaching them useful communication and soft skills, like focus and trust. Depending on your budget, you could do anything from simply playing improv games with your employees to bringing in professionals to run competitive, fast-paced activities.

improv-workshop.jpg

Source: Al-Jazeera

4) Board Game Tournament

Here’s one way to spark your team members’ competitive sides without having to leave the office. Organize a team-wide board game tournament. Especially if your team is pretty big, it might be easiest to pick a single game, then have people sign up for specific time slots when they’re free to leave their desks and spend some time playing the game. Some great games with reasonable play times include Boggle, Jenga, or even games using good ol’ playing cards. Don’t forget to incentivize with prizes for first, second, and third place.

board-game-night.jpg

Source: Glassdoor

5) Professional Development Workshop

Want to encourage your employees to bond while providing them with an opportunity to learn and further their career? Offer a shared learning experience either at your office, or at an off-site workshop or conference. The activity could be specifically related to your employees’ jobs, or it could be something broader, like a negotiation or leadership skills workshop.

professional-development-activities.jpeg

Company Outing Ideas

6) Volunteer

Giving time to support a good cause isn’t just good for the soul; it’s also a great way for your team members to bond. Place-based volunteering ideas include things like volunteering at a local soup kitchen, helping build a Habitat for Humanity house, or delivering gifts to children’s hospitals during the holidays. Skill-based volunteering is a cool way to stretch your employees’ expertise: It’s when your team volunteers its time and uses its professional skills — anything from marketing to app development to writing — to help a nonprofit.

Try VolunteerMatch.org for either type of volunteering opportunities, and Catchafire.org for skill-based volunteering opportunities.

People Volunteering

Source: VolunteerSpot

7) Mystery Dinner

Mystery dinners are one of the most beloved traditions here at HubSpot. On a single night, you send a group of folks from different teams within your company to dinner somewhere in your city (or at someone’s house). The dinner is hosted by one of your company’s leaders and paid for by the company. These dinners allow random groups of people from the same company to spend an evening chock full of good food and conversation together.

What makes them a mystery dinner? The only thing participants should know about the dinner ahead of time is the date and time. Then, on the afternoon the dinner is supposed to take place, send each group an email with the name of the restaurant they’re going to and who they’ll be going with, so they can arrange transportation together.

Optional: Give every dinner host the name of a restaurant or bar to invite everyone to congregate at once the dinners are over.

Mystery Dinner

8) Room Escape Games

Here’s a great bonding activity that requires leadership skills, teamwork, logic, and patience. Room escape games — Escape the Room, Puzzle Break, AdventureRooms, etc. — have become a wildly popular team-building exercise for groups around the globe.

Here’s how it works: A group of people gets “locked” in a room for one hour. During that one hour, they have to find hidden objects, solve puzzles, and figure out clues to locate the key that will set them free. And it’s not easy: Only 20% of players actually make it out before the hour is up.

Escape the Room

Source: Escape the Room St. Louis

9) Kayaking/Canoeing

Nothing says “let’s work together” quite like trying not to end up in the water. Want to take advantage of the outdoors? Grab a paddle and head down to the closest river for a great spring or summer outing.

Many public rivers and ponds have boat houses where you can rent kayaks and canoes — and you can encourage folks to rent multi-person ones and pair up with people they don’t usually work with.

company-kayak-outing.jpg

10) Trampoline Parks

Hey, who says trampolines are just for kids? Take your team to a trampoline park for some jumping fun and a chance to work off the day’s stress. Many cities have local places with trampoline activities — if you’re in the Boston area, check out Skyzone for trampoline dodgeball and basketball games.

Team Outing Ideas: Trampoline Jumping

Source: Mustbeart

11) Karaoke Night

What better way to get your employees to break out of their shells than to have them get up and sing some karaoke? You can even have a contest for best group karaoke performance. Bonus points if there are feather boas and cowboy hats involved. This works best for a more extroverted group, so if your team isn’t into strutting their stuff on stage, consider an idea on this list that caters more toward those personalities.

Team Outing Ideas: Karaoke

Source: derekgavey

12) Something Touristy

Embrace your city! Pick a hot tourist destination and go as a team. You can even do a Segway tour. (Fanny packs: optional.) It’ll be fun to laugh at how silly it feels to be a tourist in your own city, and you might even learn something new.

Team Outing Ideas: Something Touristy

Source: Wikimedia

13) Kart Racing

Nothing like a little competition to bond a group together. An adrenaline-pumping event like kart racing is a great way to get employees to interact with one another in a totally new and fun way. Just make sure everyone pays attention during the safety lecture.

Team Outing Ideas: F1 Racing

14) Laser Tag

Another great way to get your adrenaline pumping? A good old game of laser tag. Not only is it great fun, it’s also an opportunity for employees to exercise their strategy and logic skills, as well as teamwork skills. Bonus: Determine teams ahead of time and have people dress up.

Team Outing Ideas: Laser Tag

15) Painting Class

If you’re looking for a slightly more relaxing activity, take a group painting class. Paint Nite hosts painting classes by local artists at various bars throughout major cities for painting on canvases, wine glasses (like in the picture below), and so on. It’s a great way to let your team members unwind, catch up over some drinks, and express their creativity.

paint-nite.jpg

16) Cooking Class

In the mood for something a little more… culinary? Change up the usual outing to a bar or your local restaurant, and try a cooking class. Through a service such as Kitchensurfing, you can hire a professional chef to come cook a fancy meal for you in your home or office kitchen. Between the multiple courses prepared before your eyes, your team will have plenty of time to strike up a conversation and enjoy the delicious aromas.

pasta-class.jpg

17) Explore a New Place

Few things more fun than getting out of the city and exploring for a day. So, why not do it with your team?

For bigger events — maybe on a quarterly basis, when you have more budget to use for outings — charter a bus and take your team to a new place. You can all take a historical tour of the new place, grab lunch at a restaurant serving the town’s finest, or take in a local attraction together.

ptown-outing.jpg

18) Sports Game

Round up the team and head out to a sports game. What a fantastic way to rev up team spirit while combining both competition and camaraderie.

team_outings_baseball_game

Source: Wikimedia

Now you’re ready to show your team a great time while increasing their happiness and creating a great company culture. And hey, you might just be the “cool boss” now. How cool would that be?

A/B testing your newsletters

In the whole cycle of optimizing your marketing strategies, your newsletter mustn’t be forgotten. Make sure your newsletter is of added value to your audience and is of high quality. Of course, there’s always something to improve. You can make improvements based on your intuition but why not test that intuition first by A/B testing your newsletters?

In this post, I’ll dive into newsletter A/B tests, by explaining what you can test. I won’t discuss testing examples, but I will tell you what aspects you should pay attention to when testing.

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Subject line

With most email campaign tools, you’ll have the possibility to A/B test the subject line. That means you’ll be able to give your newsletter a number of different subject lines. If you test 2 different subject lines, ordinarily 50% of the subscribers receive the first variation, and the other 50% gets the other variation.

A/B testing your subject lines is only relevant for testing your open rate and not your click rate. The open rate is the percentage of how many successfully delivered newsletters were opened by your subscribers. The click rate percentage, on the other hand, gives insight into how many successfully delivered newsletters registered at least one click. The subject line won’t make a difference for your click rate, since it doesn’t affect anything within the body of the email you’re sending. That being said, testing your subject lines is still very important, as you want as many people as possible to read what you have to say. So you want your subscribers to open your newsletter, right?

One set of rules that our friend Jordie van Rijn (a great email marketer) taught us, which has greatly helped us is C.U.R.V.E:

  • Curiosity: try to pique the readers’ interest by asking them a question.
  • Urgency: create urgency by having limited time offers or offering things that need to be done now.
  • Relevance: Make sure you’re putting the content that’s most relevant to your audience in your subject line.
  • Value: Convey the value of the newsletter by offering something exclusive (this can be an exclusive product offer, but also exclusive content).
  • Emotion: Use punctuation, such as exclamation marks, to elicit emotional responses from your readers.

From name

Another thing you can almost always test is your from name. This is exactly what it sounds like: the name that shows from whom the emails are coming:

Inbox – thijs yoast com

This is, again, something that will only affect your open rate. However, this is an aspect that people tend to forget about, because it’s such a small thing to change. However, the from name can be pretty important. It’s the first thing people see when your email arrives, so it had better be good. Testing this will make sure it is.

Send time

I’m not sure whether all email campaign tools offer this A/B testing option, but MailChimp does. You can test what send time (MailChimp calls this “delivery time”) works best for your audience. You need to do some work here beforehand, though, because you’ll have to decide at what time the variations go out yourself.

So, try to find out when most of your emails are opened or at least when the majority of your audience is awake. Especially if your emails go to an international group of people, like ours, this might be a good thing to test. Sending your emails at the right time can result in more people seeing your newsletter and getting invested.

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Content

Content is the big one. This is where you can go all-out and test anything you like. Everything within the content section of your email can be tested, and that’s a lot. You have to think about what you want to test and treat these A/B tests as you would any other. We’ve written a post that will explain this: Hypothesize first, then test. In any case, it’s crucial that you test only one aspect at the time. Otherwise you can’t tell which part of your A/B test caused a higher click rate.

I always prefer to begin with this one, because it’s furthest into the subscribers’ process of receiving, opening and reading a newsletter. I test content first, because I don’t want to optimize a part of my email (say, the subject), while what the readers see next (like the email’s content) could undo all the optimization I did before.

Just a few ideas of what you could think about when you want to test your email’s content:

  • Your email’s header;
  • An index summarizing your email;
  • More (or less) images;
  • Different tone of voice;
  • More buttons instead of text links;
  • More ideas on Jordie’s blog.

Before testing

When you start testing, most email campaign tools will offer you two options:

  • send your variations to your complete list, or
  • send your variations to a percentage of that list, declare a winner and then send the winner to the remaining people who haven’t received a newsletter yet.

I’d strongly urge you to use the first option. Let me tell you why. First of all, sending multiple variations to just a sample of your list means that you’re cutting down on ‘respondents’. You’ll have more data when you send it to the complete list. And that means your results will be more reliable.

However, if your list is big enough, this probably won’t matter much. The reason I’d still choose the first option is that, using the second option, the winning variation gets sent out hours (or even days) later. Especially for newsletters, this can be problematic, because, well, at this point it’s not really “news” anymore. Using the second option also means you can’t determine the exact time the email will be sent. And, as I’ve already said: send time can be quite important.

If timing is less important to the emails you’re sending out, and you have a large list of subscribers, you could go for the second option. In that case, the remaining people in your list will always get the winner, which could be beneficial.

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Results

So you’ve thought up some brilliant variations of your newsletter’s content, its subject, from name or send time. Time to send out that newsletter! Once you’ve sent it, there’s nothing more you can do. You just have to wait until the first results come trickling (or flooding) in. Make sure you take notice of the differences in results. Which version got the highest open rate? Which version had the best click rate?

When comparing results, click rate always has my priority. After all, a high click rate means your readers will probably end up on your site, where you have a lot more opportunities for selling, for example. However, we also always use custom campaigns on all the links in our newsletter. And since we’ve set up eCommerce tracking in Google Analytics, we can see which version of our newsletter generated the most revenue. If you have a business to run, that’s probably the metric that you want to see increasing.

Unless you’ve set up some kind of eCommerce tracking within your email campaign tool, this metric won’t be available in their results. So don’t value the results of these tools too much. Make sure you focus on what’s important for your business and check those metrics.

Also: don’t be too quick to judge. I usually wait for a few days, up to a week before I draw my conclusions because a lot of people will still be opening and engaging with your email after a few days.

Happy testing!

What do you think of the steps and rules we’ve set for ourselves? Do you have similar ideas that you follow? Or maybe something completely different? Let us know in the comments!

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