Facebook Wages War on the Spread of Fake News

To combat the spread of fake news, social media giants Facebook will be working with ABC News, Snopes, Politifact and the Associated Press, as well as other news organizations in a coalition to fact-check articles posted on the site. Facebook articles flagged as fake news will be denied access to Facebook ads, a popular viral spamming tactic purveyors use to attract traffic to third party websites and spread false news quickly.

 

 

Fake Third-Party Sites

 

 

Changes will only affect the spread of fake news. Sites that specialize in political satire, opinions, or anything else that cannot be easily classified will not be affected. Additionally, Facebook will be checking the authenticity of third party websites to see if they are masquerading as popular news sites. Sites full of adverts will also be ineligible to display Facebook ads on their home pages. Typically, fake news third party sites are full of cheap ads and fake news spreaders make more money when Facebook users click on the fake articles and are redirected to the websites.

 

 

Sharing of Facebook Posts

 

 

Articles that a lot of people read and do not share will be placed lower on the feeds. Usually, when people read good articles, they share. Facebook will use the read to sharing ratio of articles to flag poor quality or misleading articles. If users still insist on sharing the article, a reminder will pop up indicating that the credibility of that particular article is questionable.

 

 

The company is trying to work with many partners as it can to minimize the spread of fake news. Facebook is also a part of another coalition with major media and tech companies including CNN, New York Times, Google, and Twitter called the First Draft Coalition. The First Draft Coalition’s sole objective is to eliminate the spread of misleading news articles on the internet. Currently, Facebook has over 1.8 billion active users, with each of them spending about an hour daily on the site. The company will be looking to increase these numbers by fine-tuning the content so that people can easily find what they are looking for and visit regularly.

 

 

 

To Reach Generation Z, Social Media Marketing Campaigns Need to Change Tactics

While most of the discussion on how to reach the latest generation of consumers has focused on millennials, or people who were born between 1980 and 1990, another generation is quickly coming into prominence: Generation Z, which is composed of people born between 1995 and 2005. While these two time periods may not seem so far apart, there are crucial differences in how these groups of people grew up that make them very different as consumers – and social media marketing campaigns are going to have to start paying close attention to those differences if they want to remain effective.

 

The key difference that separates millennials from Generation Z is that millennials were, for the most part, exposed to the Internet as teenagers, while members of Generation Z have never known a world without the Internet – and many have never known a world without modern smartphones. As a result, while millennials are generally very heavy users of online media and social platforms, Generation Z-ers can be more selective, and will pick and choose which platforms to use – and they are very quick to move on to the next platform as soon as their friends do. For this reason, very few Generation Z-ers are on Facebook compared to millennials, preferring Instagram and Snapchat instead. One defining characteristic of Generation Z-ers is that they use multiple social media platforms to communicate with different groups of people – they’ll talk to strangers via Instagram, but only Snapchat their friends, for example.

 

Social Media Campaigns Are Only One Part of Preventing Suicide

More reports are confirming that suicide is the leading cause of death for Australians between the ages of 15 and 44. Suicide also impacts more than 85% of people, because 1 in 7 people will have suicidal thoughts at some point in their lives. These statistics make it clear that suicide is still a very prevalent problem that needs to be dealt with properly.

 

Each September, the world recognizes the tragedy of suicide and we are called on to recognize suicidal behavior in friends and loved ones. The month is a time when we take special care to have the difficult conversations that could help to save a family member’s life. Social media campaigns like #itsoktotalk have resulted in a significant increase of posts about depression and suicide, which makes it easier to have the challenging discussions that come with suicidal thoughts.

 

However, there isn’t much of an impact on the statistics.

 

It seems that sharing a selfie on social media may not be a very effective way to stop someone from committing suicide. And while conversations can be helpful, they are only the first step to saving someone’s life.

 

Scientific literature reveals that there are ways to pinpoint which strategies can truly reduce the suicide rate. The most effective way to prevent suicide is to improve the public’s access to high-quality mental care care. Medical professionals should also be more skilled and comfortable when it comes to addressing suicidal behavior and depression. This also means that educational professionals and school counselors should be on the lookout for dangerous behaviors in order to save students.

 

Of course, social media campaigns work well when it comes to raising awareness about an issue. Awareness alone won’t save lives, but it can serve as a helpful tool to prevent suicide when used with other methods.

 

It’s important to encourage friends and family members to do more than just retweet when it comes to social media campaigns that bring attention to suicide. Social media can be used as a way to get the attention of political leaders who can implement suicide prevention programs. This combination of social media awareness and community involvement can help to save lives.

 

 

How Social Media Predicted America’s Next President

Media houses were so sure of Hillary’s win (they even vouched for her) until Trump hit the square in the face with a massive victory. Every news hub was shocked, so were the analysts they hired daily to bash each other in irate debates. But do you know who got it right all along?—Social media.

 

After Trump’s win, it was evident that news rooms were looking in the wrong places. Expert social media analysts only had to gauge the temperature on social websites to predict the outcome from a mile away. Trump new this secret all too well, and he maximized it to his advantage.

 

While the Hillary camp spent millions printing banners, erecting offices and burning gas money on the road to win more states, Trump only focused on social media. He infiltrated sites like Facebook and Twitter with his campaigns. And guess what he used to grow his social media followership? Yes, the very leaked video of his supposed ‘locker room talk’.

 

More people subscribed to Trump’s social media accounts to follow his responses to the alleged leaked tape. Just like that, he grew his followership which boosted his social campaign further. Then Donald Trump dealt his last card, delivering a very sobering response on the last debate which saw people warm up to him after all. Likes and shares translated into votes and Hillary Clinton had to make that last phone call to him eventually.

 

Interesting though is that a lot of the so called analytic experts still don’t believe in the power of social media. But if the US election is anything to go by, social media campaigns do garner popularity—and votes.

 

 

Facebook Gets Some New Color

Facebook has made changes to its interface in order to maintain the intimate conversations with friends and family that it used to be known for. These changes extend to make text statuses into something akin to photos through access to colored backgrounds. Users can now choose any to appear behind the status’ text. Other aesthetic options include color gradients. Facebook will be rolling out these features over time. Initially, colored statuses can only be created by Android users; however, everyone, regardless of their viewing platform of choice, will be able to see them.

 

A company spokesperson commented that the changes were being made in order to attract more attention. Another potential gain with this approach would be a surge in “original sharing;” most shares come from other shared posts. Lastly, Facebook’s statistics have indicated continual decline in newly shared content since 2015, with professionally published content continuing to surge ahead of original shares, reducing the latter’s presence.

 

Facebook has already made some eye-catching changes, such as rendering short status messages in huge fonts. Both the colored background and font changes could be seeing as ways to snipe at Twitter despite Facebook’s comparatively giant pool of users. When Facebook added a News Feed, it focused solely on text. When statuses were posted, the word “is” used to precede them, indicating that the person was engaging in real time. Despite these aesthetic tweaks, Facebook’s CEO has maintained that video, 360 degree interfaces and VR will be the next steps in Facebook’s evolution.

 

A Simple Call to Action Boosts Social Media Campaigns

Customer engagement leads to conversions. Getting a customer to engage requires a well designed call to action. Pretty much every social media campaign relies on calls to action to sell products, increase visibility or gain leads. Well crafted calls to action suit each of these purposes. In order to reap the benefits of customer engagement there are a few tips to know.

 

Effective Calls to action are simple. The call should start with a verb, this is called the trigger. Verbs signal action. For instance, the phrase “please subscribe” is far less engaging than the phrase “subscribe now.” To really increase the odds of engagement, employ the use of “click triggers.” A click trigger is an added incentive. “Subscribe now for free shipping,” is a better call to action than “please subscribe.”

 

Another way to keep a call to action simple is to use the first person. This might go against everything you know about writing copy, but in an A/B test conducted by Unbounce, researchers found that the use of “my” in calls to action yielded higher conversion rates than “your.” In other words, phrasing a call to action as “download my free song” will result in more downloads than “download your free song” or “download a free song.”

 

One last tip, create urgency. Consumers want a deal and they want exclusive deals. Think about Ebay’s countdown feature. Your call to action should reflect urgency. To keep it simple, try a phrase like “Download my free song now.”

 

Social Media Campaigns That Made an Impact in 2016

It is impossible to choose the best social media campaigns of 2016 because there were so many good ones. There were a few major factors which played very large roles in the success of social marketing campaigns during the past year. The first was the various changes in algorithms used by Instagram and Twitter. There have also been a wide variety of messaging apps that have been introduced and become very popular with the general public. Companies took advantage of these factors and designed their social media campaigns around them. As usual, a few companies did better at this than their competitors. Here are a few examples of the social media campaigns that really attracted a great deal of attention to their products.

 

Reese’s #MarchMadness

 

Reese’s was the official sponsor of the NCAA Men’s basketball tournament for the fourth consecutive year. The videos that were created for this particular social media campaign contained outstanding visuals that made viewers interested in the Reese’s brand. The writing in these spots was also far above what you typically find in your average social media campaign.

 

Lowe’s #LowesFixInSix

 

This campaign from the Lowe’s home improvement chain shows people how to fix various things around their home in only six seconds. The concept was a brilliant one. It quickly caught on and became a trending hashtag. Stop-motion animation is used to create each short video. This type of animation is not commonly used these days. Therefore, it makes the spots more memorable to the viewing audience.

Some of the Most Successful Social Media Campaigns

Social media has changed the way that people communicate with each other. It has also revolutionized the way that companies can promote their products to consumers. There can be no question that a company needs to have a presence on social media if it is going to be a factor in today’s world. Here are a few examples of social media campaigns that have generated significant profits for the companies that have used them.

 

Tesco

 

Tesco is the largest chain of grocery stores in the United Kingdom. The company had a breakthrough with a series of videos posted on YouTube that were aimed at parents who were looking to buy something for their children for Christmas. The videos showed children playing with all of the most popular toys for that particular Christmas season. This told many parents what their children would most likely want. Tesco experienced an increase in toy sales as a result of the campaign.

 

Scoot Airlines

 

This company carefully analyzed info that they gathered from looking at the Facebook data of potential customers. They used this data to market trips to destinations these people would most likely want to visit. This resulted in a sales increase of more than 150 percent.

 

KFC

 

KFC created a very successful campaign in the United Kingdom called the “friendship bucket.” KFC credits the campaign with getting many British people interested in trying their chicken who were not previous customers. The likeability of the actors used in the campaign was key to its success.

 

 

 

Germany Takes Steps to Address Fake News on Social Media

The coalition government in Germany has had it with fake or inaccurate news reports circulating on social media. A plan is afoot to put a heavy foot down on fake news on Facebook and other social networks. Legal sanctions may be levied against social media sites that do not remove provably fake news within a set period of time. Sanction might come in the form of a €500,000 fine.

 

How all this ends up playing out remains to be seen, but it would be difficult to envision any scenario in which a social media giant with billions of cash in reserves could monitor millions upon millions of published posts every day.

 

Ten years or so ago, social media — then dubbed social networks — were online hubs for tech lovers and young persons. In time, the value of social media and an informational and promotional tool grew so significantly, members of all demographic groups started creating and communicating via social media. Billions of people are “wired” to social media platforms. These platforms are where they get a tremendous amount of their information.

 

The free flow of information makes it difficult for politicians and powerbrokers to control messaging. Yes, the dissemination of fake and harmful news is a problem. When the distribution of fake news is linked to cyberwars, the problem becomes even more ominous.

 

That said, concerns over totalitarian censorship of news governments disagree with should never be ignored. As history shows, the enacting of censorship laws never lead to good results.

 

Western Australia Election Will Rely on Social Media Campaigns

Donald Trump’s use of Twitter during his presidential campaign helped him to reach an audience that would have been almost impossible to reach otherwise. There is no question that social media now plays a crucial role in the lives of more than 1.5 billion people around the world. It should be no surprise that Australian politicians are now using social media campaigns to get their various messages across. President Obama was the first major politician to show what a powerful tool social media can be in the political world if it is used properly. Now politicians from around the world have jumped on the social media bandwagon.

 

Western Australia will be having a very important election in March of 2017. If early reports are any indication, social media campaigns are going to play a major role in the election. Politicians in Australia like the fact that they can make their pitch directly to voters. Also, social media is free. This means they do not have to spend their precious campaign money on as much advertising as they normally would. You can send out as many messages on Facebook and Twitter as you want without spending anything.

 

How seriously are the Australian political parties taking social media? Digital media advisors are now being employed full-time by several of the parties. This indicates that these parties plan on using social media very heavily in their campaign strategy. Many Australian politicians now believe that it is impossible to get elected without an effective social media campaign.