Health-Related Facebook Pages Could See Downgraded Posts for Sensationalist Health Claims

Last Tuesday, July 2, 2019, Facebook announced that they implemented two new post ranking updates to their most recent algorithm which was released last month. These updates target Pages that post “exaggerated or sensational health claims [or are] attempting to sell products or services based on health-related claims.” According to Travis Yeh, Facebook Product Manager, the reason behind this change to the algorithm is to “improve the quality of information in News Feed.”

Examples of the types of posts that would be downgraded were provided by Facebook. However, they leave a lot of room for interpretation. In our opinion, that means that there will be a lot of misidentified posts. The only good news is that Facebook won’t block the identified posts. Instead, they will be shown lower in the News Feeds of your followers.

Here’s what Facebook says about how they are evaluating posts through this new lens:

“We consider if a post about health exaggerates or misleads — for example, making a sensational claim about a miracle cure [and] we consider if a post promotes a product or service based on a health-related claim — for example, promoting a medication or pill claiming to help you lose weight.”

As you can see, their definitions are fairly broad, though they anticipate that a majority of Pages won’t see a significant change to their post distribution in News Feeds. They suggest that Pages should avoid sensationalist health claims and solicitation using health-related claims. In addition, any pages that do see a decrease in distribution can simply stop posting that sort of content.

These newest changes to the ranking algorithm come on the heels of another major change involving health-related posts. In March, Facebook announced that it would take strong action against Pages and Groups that “spread misinformation about vaccinations on Facebook.” Those types of posts will see harsher consequences than those discussed above. Spreading misinformation about vaccinations can completely exclude your Page or Group from recommendations on Facebook. Also, Facebook will reduce the distribution of posts made by offending Pages and Groups as well as rejecting ads with the offending content.

So how do you avoid this type of content if you’re in a health-related field?

As with most issues related to Facebook’s algorithms, this all comes down to word usage. The algorithm will indetify posts by searching for phrases commonly found in spammy health-related posts. Facebook has not said what phrases the algorithm will look for. We believe terms to avoid are things like “guaranteed results”, “lose weight fast”, and “risk-free”.

What do you think of this change? Do you think it will help reduce spam for users? Or will it just make more unnecessary headaches for business Page owners?

Share your thoughts with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Facebook Released 2019 Q1 Numbers on Automated Standards Enforcement

If you’ve been on Facebook for any amount of time (for business or personal use), it’s likely that you’ve had a post flagged for some sort of violation of Facebook’s community standards. As Facebook comes under more scrutiny for the content posted on their platform, they have increased the automated detection of said content. For the most part, this is a good thing, but there is a dark side to this increase in automated standards enforcement: misidentification.

In a recent report, Facebook gave an overview of how their automated detection is working. For the purposes of our post, we’re only going to focus on the spam numbers in the report. The report covers the first quarter of 2019 along with a broader view of the past year. Specifically, it shows the amount of content that Facebook has “taken action on” during that time period (meaning they removed the content, applied a warning screen to the content, or they disabled the account). According to the report, the amount of spam content that has had an action taken on it has more than doubled in the past year, going from 836 million in Q1 of 2018 to 1.76 billion in Q1 of 2019.

For the first quarter of 2019, they’ve added a new metric – they are now showing how much of the content that had action taken against it was restored, either by their own accord or because a user requested an appeal. They don’t have that information for any other time periods, so everyone is just going to have to wait and see how that metric increases or decreases in relation to the amount of spam identified.

To give Facebook some credit where credit is due, the report shows that in Q1 of 2019 only about 3% of the posts Facebook took action on were misidentified. That low of a percentage is great, but it still equals out to 44.2 million posts that were restored after being misidentified as spam. If one (or more) of your posts was part of that 3%, I’m sure you’d agree that it’s frustrating and troubling, to say the least, to have your content misidentified as spam. According to some users, having a post identified as spam can also cause problems in other areas, such as having your comments on other content flagged and locking you out of your account.

Overall, it appears that Facebook’s automated standards enforcement is doing its job, but because of the incredible amount of content shared on the platform every day, we feel like they might be struggling with getting it right. Regardless of our opinions though, one thing is certain, as Facebook continues to increase their automated standards enforcement, it’s likely that you will see an increase of spam notifications for content that you post on the platform.

What are your thoughts on Facebook’s automated standards enforcement? Have you seen an increase in reported posts on your profile or pages?

Share your thoughts with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Video Advertising on Social Media: The One Thing You Need to Know

If you’ve spent any time researching social media for business recently then I’m sure you’ve heard, video is where it’s at. Video ads are the fastest growing form of advertising online. According to eMarketer, US advertisers are expected to spend almost $16 billion just on video ads in 2019. That number is expected to jump to an estimated $25 billion by 2022!

The reasons behind the swell in video advertising are clear: more people are watching and responding to video ads than ever before. It’s estimated that by 2020, the number of smartphone users watching mobile video will be close to 200 million. In addition, those viewers will spend close to 30 minutes per day watching mobile video. That’s a lot of eyeballs.

Regardless of if you’re a seasoned video advertiser or just getting into the game, the one thing you need to know is how to measure the effectiveness of your video ads – the return on investment. “Video Views” are generally the metric to watch to figure out your ROI. A video view is how many times the video has been watched, but the definition of what constitutes a video view is fuzzy at best.

Video view metrics vary based on the platform and can mean different things based on which one you’re using. So, here’s a breakdown of how “video views” are measured on some of the largest platforms.

YouTube

Definition of a view: 30 seconds (or the whole duration, if your video is less than 30 seconds) or when the viewer actively engages with your video, whichever action comes first.

For what counts as a view on YouTube video ads, we looked at their TrueView in-stream advertising. For TrueView in-stream, a view is counted as the number of times your video is viewed for 30 seconds (or the whole duration, if your video is less than 30 seconds) or when the viewer actively engages with your video, whichever action comes first.

Also, it’s worth noting that when a video is first posted, YouTube filters the number of views based on what it considers to be actual human views, not computer programs. It shows what it considers to be “quality views” until the number of views gets up high enough. They don’t really say what that means, because it varies based on the popularity of the video. Read more about this process in YouTube’s Help Center.

Facebook and Instagram

Definition of a view: three seconds, or 97% of the total length of the video if its total length is less than three seconds.

The definition above is the standard for Facebook and Instagram. However, calculating how much you’re charged for the ad depends on the type of ad you purchase. If you purchase a CPM (cost per 1,000 views/impressions) you will be charged after the standard three seconds. However, if you purchase a ThruPlay ad, you will be charged after a viewer watches your video for 15 seconds (or 97% of the video, if its total length is less than 15 seconds).

LinkedIn

Definition of a view: 2 seconds of continuous playback while the video is at least 50% on the screen or an active engagement with your video, whichever comes first.

LinkedIn has adopted the Media Rating Council’s (MRC) definition of a view. LinkedIn also provides metrics on the number of times a video is viewed to 50%, 75% and 100% of the total length of the video.

Pinterest

Definition of a view: 2 seconds of continuous playback while the video is at least 50% on the screen.

Pinterest has also chosen to adopt the MRC definition of a view. Pinterest also tracks some engagements and how long the video was viewed, but their analytics are limited, so they’ve partnered with other companies to expand the options for measurements.

Snapchat

Definition of a view: 2 seconds of continuous watch time or a swipe up action on the Top Snap.

Snapchat also adopted the MRC definition, however they include the “swipe up” action in their definition due to the nature of the way media is delivered on their platform. The number of Snaps watched to 25%, 50% and 75% is also provided.

Twitter

Definition of a view: 2 seconds of continuous playback while the video is at least 50% on the screen.

Twitter also opted to use the MRC definition of a view for their Video Views metric. They also have a metric called “Media Views” which includes views of all media types: videos, vines, gifs and images.

 

BONUS TIP

Don’t just use the number of views as your measurement of success. Different video campaigns should have different desired outcomes and different results. If it’s not necessary for viewers to watch your entire video, then completion rates aren’t as important. You can use the percentage of completion rates to see if viewers are watching long enough to get the message. You can also use demographic information to see if you’re reaching your desired audience.

Do you use video ads as a part of your business’ marketing campaign? What metrics do you look for on your video ads?

Share your thoughts with us on Facebook or Twitter.

Facebook Ads Just Lost Some Oomph for Some Small Businesses

Facebook recently announced that it has changed the way Facebook Ads target specific people and groups. This change specifically applies to ads offering housing, employment or credit opportunities. It drastically reduces the number of categories and groups available for ad targeting by advertisers offering those opportunities. For instance, advertisers in those industries will no longer be able to target by age, gender or zip code. Also, any categories that include “multicultural affinity targeting” or “detailed targeting option describing or appearing to relate to protected classes” will no longer available.

This change is a part of a settlement with the NFHA, ACLU, CWA and some other groups. The goal of this change is to prevent the Facebook Ads from being used to discriminate. Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg said the hope is that it will “better protect people on Facebook”.

What do you think about this change to Facebook Ads? Will it change anything about the way you use the Facebook Ads service?

Share your thoughts with us on Facebook or Twitter.

The Scoop on Hashtags

Whether you’re a seasoned hashtag expert or you still call it a “pound sign”, hashtags can still befuddle the best of us. To help clear that up, we’re going to to over some hashtag basics.

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