Thursday, July 20, 2017

Facebook Changes Link Previews to Help Combat ‘Fake News’

By Caitlan McCafferty

Big changes from Facebook took effect the week of July 18. In order to combat the ongoing spread of misinformation, Facebook has changed the way users can edit the previews of links that they post to the social media platform.

This latest update from Facebook eliminates the ability to customize link metadata, which determines the headline, description, and image shown in the preview of the link.

According to an article by Engadget, the preview function has been abused by many fake news outlets, which “have been taking advantage of the ability to customize a story's metadata to spread misinformation.They often replace the headline, image and snippet with something controversial to get the most shares, likes and comments possible." This change allows Facebook to eliminate at least one method of disseminating false information.

The social media platform recognizes that legitimate publishers and content creators rely on the customization function to tailor their shares in order to improve audience engagement, and Facebook developers have been working on a solution for them. In the meantime, content creators can continue to customize how links appear with Open Graph meta tags. Open Graph meta tags are an important option to consider to optimize content on social media.

Overall, this change signals a serious commitment from Facebook to curb the spread of false information. Shortly after the 2016 election, Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg announced an initiative to stop fake news. The elimination of the ability to alter link previews appears to be one of many steps the social media giant is undertaking to achieve that goal.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Twitter Tools for Hashtag Marketing and Research

By Gina Rubel

I recently went on a marketing mission to find out who is using certain hashtags on Twitter. My goal was to find those users who were most influential and most engaged on certain topics.

If you’re not familiar with hashtags and their value, check out Mashable’s 2013 post on The Beginner’s Guide to the Hashtag which is still relevant today.

Using Twitonomy for Hashtag Research
While there are various online tools that one can use to find influencers and hashtags, I discovered Twitonomy which I’ve decided to test as a one-month user.

Here are some of the things I discovered:

It is possible to download lists of followers or, more importantly, those a user is following. This is important because if you’re looking to find, for example, various reporters for a particular publication, or sources uses by a particular publication, it is likely that that publication and its editors are following those people.

I also ran a follower report on the profiles following me @ginarubel on Twitter. The report is chock full of interesting information.



For example, the top hashtag used by my followers are:
  • #marketing
  • #socialmedia
  • #PR
  • #law
  • #entrepreneur
This information tells me that I’m reaching the right audience as I am a lawyer entrepreneur who works in marketing, public relations and social media.

In addition, the top keywords used by my followers are:
  • Marketing
  • Legal
  • Business
  • Social
  • Media
Again, this tells me that my followers have interests and speak on topics similar to mine.

I can also identify where the majority of my followers are located:
  • Philadelphia, Pa. – where we conduct quite a bit of business
  • Doylestown, Pa. – my hometown
  • New York, N.Y. – where we have clients and deal with media
  • Bucks County, Pa. – the county within which I work and live
  • Chicago, Ill. – a hub for law firms, American bar association business and legal marketing activity
Using Hashtagify.me for Hashtag Research
Another tool that I was recently introduced to by members of our PR department is Hashtagify.me which allows you to search a hashtag to find related hashtags, top influencers, usage patterns and more.

For example, I searched #globalwarming in the free tool of hashtagifyme. Other relevant hashtags include #climatechange #drought #environment #science #climate and the top influencers were @pitbull, @xhnews, @theeconomist, @greenpeace and @realtonyrocha.

While there is a bit of information available for free on Hashtagify.me, the majority of the information is behind a paywall which is the save for other platforms that I found.

What tools are you using for hashtag marketing research? We’d love to hear from you.

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