Thursday, January 8, 2015

New Year, New Algorithm

It's a new year which means changes on Facebook. No, I'm not talking about the privacy policy changes or that post about owning your content (STOP SHARING THAT). I'm talking about the dreaded algorithm.

This year is no different. Facebook has rolled out updates that decide what will show up in your news feed. 

What is the algorithm? In simple terms, it is how Facebook picks what content shows up in your News Feed. The algorithm decides the content based on your engagement, who you are friends with, pages you have liked, popularity of posts, and many many other factors.

Facebook adjusts the algorithm slightly throughout the year, but whenever we enter a new calendar year, they tend to make a big change. Sometimes this affects the average user, but typically it is the business that have Pages that suffer from the change.

This year brands and pages have been hit hard. In order to guarantee post views and engagement it's going to take more than just putting great content out there. 

Here are a few tips to help with your post reach:

1.) Post Video
Facebook recently decided to push their video service. Its always been there, people just didn't use it. In an effort to push (force) people to use the service, Facebook made adjustments to the algorithm that gives videos uploaded directly to Facebook priority. 

2.) Multiple Photos
Photos have always done well as posts on Facebook. This year, it's a little different. Instead of just posting one photo, you will need to post multiple photos to each post to get the best reach. Posts with 3-4 photos seem to do the best.

3.) Avoid Promotional Verbage
Unless you plan to "boost"/advertise the post, avoid using promotional verbage. That includes certain call to action words, such as "watch," "tune in," "check out," etc. Instead, focus on telling your story. Make posts conversational. Ask questions!

4.) News & Trending Topics
Last year, the big push from Facebook was to increase the reach of certain links, like news stories or posts related to trending topics. This year is no different. Before you post certain content, do a little research on the way others may be wording a trending topic. Using similar wording, tags and hashtags will increase your reach. 

5.) Avoid "Click, Like, Share Baiting"
Clicks, Likes, Shares, we want them! That's a huge part of our job as social media strategists. But, if you are using wording that encourages people to "click the link to see more" or "Find out what happened..." Facebook is cracking down on your reach. This is part of Facebook's new push to make a better news feed. Your click baits might work, but your audience doesn't really "like" it.

Lastly, remember to always tag other pages if you mention them. This always gives your post an extra boost, plus it's the social thing to do. ;) 

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Why I Chose To Bottle Feed

I'm in an upcoming episode of Southern Remedy on MPB related to breast feeding. I talked about how much I struggled with breastfeeding and why I chose to formula feed instead. I want to go ahead and explain that now.

I purchased a breast pump on sale last year on Black Friday. I registered for all the things I would need in order to breastfeed and pump. I knew that this was something that was a healthy option for my child.

When Logan was born we immediately tried feeding. We quickly found out, my son is lazy. Yes, the adorable child you all see in your Facebook feed is a lazy butt. He did not want to latch. Even the nurse couldn't believe how lazy he was. She tried and tried to help us but he just wasn't interested. She finally said not to worry and we could try again later with the lactation specialist.

I was moved into my recovery room and they took Logan away. When I arrived in my room I was immediately bombarded with, it seemed like, every person that worked in the hospital. 3 nurses walked in and wanted to talk to me. The pediatrician came by and said a bunch of stuff. Then the lactation specialist came in and introduced herself but didn't really offer to help me and seemed pretty uninterested.

Thank goodness for Logan's nurse. She was in my room constantly trying to help me breast feed. On my last day in the hospital, she brought me this shield that is supposed to help if a baby doesn't latch and told me to try it and to keep at it until Logan's appointment the following Monday.

When I was being released from the hospital the lactation specialist came by and offered her assistance later that day. I told her that I was in the process of leaving. She said "Oh, well I will be till 3". I told her, "No, I don't think you understand. I'm leaving right now and won't be back." She didn't offer to help me then and didn't seem to care.

When we got home Logan screamed all night. What we didn't know was that he hadn't eaten. I wasn't really producing anything. Even though he would somewhat latch he wasn't getting anything out of it.

When we went in for our appointment the following Monday we found out he had lost well over 1 lb. It is normal for breastfed babies to lose weight, but not that much.

It was recommended that we start supplementing until he got his weight back up. They also recommended that I pump.

When I started pumping it would take 40 minutes and I was lucky to get a whole feeding. I was exhausted, trying to stay hydrated and then was starting to stress out about going back to work. If this was what it was going to be like for me to pump, I knew it wasn't going to work. There was no way I was going to be able to stop for 40 minutes 3 times a day to pump.

We came back for another appointment a few days later. Luckily he had begun to gain weight.

I continued pumping and supplementing for another week. We were closing in on our first appointment with the pediatrician, when all of a sudden Logan began to refuse the breast milk. I tried giving him some formula instead and he took it immediately.

At this point, I was a new Mom, I felt like I couldn't provide for my child. I was stressed about returning to work in 5 weeks. I still wasn't producing enough. I had a complete melt down. It was at that moment that my husband Grant, said to me "It's time to stop. This isn't working."

It was at that moment we decided as a family to formula feed.

For a few weeks after I still didn't feel great about it. A few people made comments to me about how breast feeding was the better choice and really important in the developmental stages. It didn't make me feel better about my choice. I kept thinking that I was doing something that would hurt my child in the long run.

My awesome mother in law Linda really helped me with my struggle. She told me how she formula fed Grant and his brother.

I also spoke with my Grandmother, who is 95 years old, and she told me that she was formula fed. She is 95 and very healthy for her age. Clearly, formula can't be bad in the long run.

In the end, it was the right choice for my family. I hope to have another child in the future and I do intend on at least trying to breastfeed again. Breast feeding wasn't the right choice for me.

I wanted to share my story with you. I hope you will understand my struggle and respect others if they do make the choice not to breastfeed.

Tune in Tuesday, November 4th, at 9pm on MPB TV, to watch the episode.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

My Return to MPB

6 years ago, I tweeted about looking for a summer internship. I got a response from Thomas Broadus at Mississippi Public Broadcasting. He was looking for a social media intern!

Thomas invited me to help produce an episode of Writers. I was so excited! I remember showing up to the studio and the excitement of being on set.

I had officially started my internship. It was a fantastic opportunity. They handed over the social media keys and allowed me to create accounts for Mississippi Public Broadcasting on Twitter and MySpace. I worked hard to create fan bases across all of the platforms. I sent out messages and worked on building a community. MPBOnline became a first adopter to the social media space and I was a part of it.

When my internship ended I was disappointed. I was determined to join the MPB team. That fall, an opportunity came up to assist with creating a few promos and working on the Presidential Debate in Oxford. I jumped at the opportunity. Not only did I get to work on those projects I also spear headed the coverage of Hurricane Gustav on Twitter and helped inform Mississippians and others in surrounding areas about shelters, news and important updates related to the storm.

My contract ended and graduation was quickly approaching. Of course, this was also when the economy tanked. Finding a job was almost impossible, even if it was flipping burgers. I was hoping an opportunity would present itself at MPB but then the Governor ordered a freeze on all jobs with the State.

I was heart broken but vowed to someday make my way back to the place that inspired my passion.

Opportunities presented themselves over the years and the timing was always off. Finally, this Spring an opportunity came up. I knew it was a sign to jump. It wast time.

I applied, crossed my fingers and toes and left it up to the powers at be. On June 1st I returned home to MPB. While some things have changed many things are still the same.

Radio is still the place to be. If you want to have fun and enjoy a great conversation, the folks in Radio will cheer you up! They are also the most hard working people I have ever seen!

Education is still filled with amazing characters. The folks in education are passionate about their jobs. They know their focus and they do an amazing job! It's always fun to see what projects they are working on.

Production is a driving force. The folks in production drive the bus. They are all focused and hard working and work from the heart on every project. Their passion is contagious.

Last but not least, the communications department is still innovative and awesome! Some of my favorite people are still there. Of course there are some new faces that are just as fun!

It's nice to be back home. I am excited to see where this new adventure will take me. Of course I'll bring you along for the ride.

Keep it Real!

I wasn't able to find the actual tweets about the internship but I did find this gem:

I get a lot of "Twitters" on my new phone! LMAO!