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Meaningful Facebook Updates: Make the Algorithm Work for You

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg recently announced the platform’s latest algorithm changes will show more personal posts and less news items in users’ feeds – thus, placing priority on content from friends and family rather than news outlets, company pages and celebrities. Instead of positioning Facebook as a one-stop resource for all information, the company is looking to get back to its roots of encouraging “meaningful” connections between people.

With so much criticism of social media’s impact on mental health and the spreading of “fake news,” it’s not surprising that Facebook would make this move. While the updates could have a negative impact on Facebook marketing efforts initially, there’s also opportunity to create a Facebook strategy that’s more user-focused to drive long-term value.

Redefine Facebook’s Value in Marketing

It won’t be enough to boost engagement and drive web traffic anymore. We’ll have to redefine Facebook’s value for business pages and advertisers by focusing on real business outcomes. Initiatives, such as recruitment, culture, brand awareness, brand authority, thought leadership, SEO and others, can still be supported through social media platforms – they just have to be more closely tied to business outcomes.

A simple shift in how value is perceived can help business pages adjust. For example, instead of thinking of your next post as a means of driving traffic to the company blog, you might put more insights from the blog in the post itself. If the content is still valuable, people will still follow you. Consider the following when redefining your social media goals, especially for planning Facebook strategies:

  • Is Facebook a good place to showcase your company culture for current and potential employees?
  • Do audiences engage with your content currently?
  • Will reduced visibility in news feeds affect engagement of regular visitors?
  • Are you able to cut back on frequency to build higher quality of content?
  • Have you taken advantage of Facebook’s native tools to the fullest? (i.e. Live video, events, groups, targeting, etc.)

Revisit Facebook Advertising

There is some good news. The ad algorithm will remain the same (for now), as it’s programmed separately from the news feed algorithm. This means, ad targeting could still be an asset to your Facebook campaigns for boosting awareness and driving traffic.

However, prices may increase as demand for ad opportunities is likely to rise due to the news feed updates. Some analysts estimate that Facebook could command as much as 10 percent of total online and traditional) advertising spending in 2018. If digital advertising is in your budget, it might be a good time to revisit your options.

 Restructure Your Content

It’s clear that sales-centric, product-specific and other self-serving posts will no longer reach the majority of your followers. In fact, the new algorithm will bury this type of content.

Instead, companies should put more effort into learning more about their followers and creating posts that speak directly to them. This way, branded content will be more relevant. Other tactics to consider include:

  • Publish less content, but focus on developing posts that reinforce key brand messages
  • Avoid content with links to company webpages
  • Produce content that encourages meaningful one-to-many discussions
  • Create live videos to humanize your content (gets triple the engagement of prerecorded video)
  • Look at setting up groups to build your community organically

Rethink Your PR Strategy

Finally, just this week we learned Facebook will boost content from local news sources in user feeds to share topics that have a direct impact on tight geographical areas. Trusted sources are marked as those who get clicks on links by a certain number of people within a small area.

This is where public relations practices can be tailored to make the new Facebook feeds work for you. If your content is relevant to a specific geographical area, consider partnering with your local news outlets.

Not only can this help reach a larger target audience with information they want and need, it also provides third-party recognition. This approach requires a mutually beneficial mindset, so newsworthiness should be considered before reaching out to your local media contacts. Your content should include one or more of the following:

  • Impact: Does this story appeal to a broad audience within the target area?
  • Proximity: Does your content affect the local community?
  • Timeliness: Does your content reflect something recent?
  • Prominence: Does reputation factor into your content?
  • Human Interest: Does the story feature someone who overcame adversity?
  • Conflict: Does the content include some kind of controversy?
  • Bizarre: Does your story highlight something unexpected?

For more information on social media, digital marketing or other communication strategies, visit us at

What is Marketing Automation?


Many companies have heard that implementing a marketing automation solution is the logical next step in their demand generation capabilities.  Perhaps they want to move up from “batch and blast” email marketing or managing digital channel “silos” that don’t provide a comprehensive view of online customer behavior.  But what is marketing automation, and how can it provide a competitive advantage for those companies that adopt it?

Marketing automation systems like Marketo, Eloqua, Hubspot and Pardot provide a number of capabilities to streamline, automate and measure marketing tasks including lead management, outbound email campaigns, email database management, lead nurturing, and lead scoring.  All marketing automation systems are designed to integrate directly with CRM (customer relationship management) solutions like Salesforce or Microsoft Dynamics.  This integration creates marketing and sales alignment around lead generating activities and “closes the loop” between marketing activities and the customer revenue and sales pipeline generated from those activities.

Some of the specific functions of marketing automation platforms include:

  • Lead management – the ability to track real-time user behavior and data and aggregate prospect information across online channels (organic search, online display ads, PPC ads, email marketing, and social media), as well as offline channels such as trade shows, PR, print advertising and direct mail.
  • Campaign automation – allowing relevant emails to be triggered to deploy automatically or after a specific period of a time when a user takes an action, such as filling out a form on the company’s website, attending a webinar, or opening a previous email.
  •  Dynamic content – automatically populates emails with personalized content based on user information or based on segmentation parameters, such as vertical markets, industry segments, or even by specific named accounts.
  • Form design tools – allowing the marketing creative services team to develop website landing pages and registration forms that can be hosted on the company’s website, and can capture complete lead information across all channels in a single database.
  • Workflow – a visual framework for identifying future prospect engagement based on if/then logic, including forms, content, database updates, wait steps, and campaign execution.
  • Lead nurturing and scoring – provides a platform for capturing prospect information at an earlier stage by providing relevant, useful content, capturing the user’s interest in specific information, and predicting when leads are sales-ready.
  • Tracking and reporting tools – allows the marketer to see prospect engagement across all channels, including email opens and clicks, website visits, form submissions and event registrations, all of which can be used to determine marketing campaign effectiveness.

The end result, if implemented correctly, provides the right messages to the right prospects at the right time – resulting in vastly higher conversion rates and accelerated sales revenue.  All of these things are possible to do without a marketing automation platform, but technology becomes essential to do this at scale.  But like any other set of technologies, marketing automation requires a comprehensive strategy that integrates the right processes, people, content and prospect data to be successful.

The Quell Group provides a complete set of digital marketing solutions, including assisting with the selection and implementation of technologies that address your unique marketing challenges.  To discuss your company’s marketing technology strategy, contact John Fitzgerald, Senior Director of Digital Services at The Quell Group, at 248.519.2066 or