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Laehn: Navigating Facebook’s Updated News Feed Algorithm

Facebook Tips from Denim

In early 2018, Facebook announced major changes that will continue to shift what is shown in News Feeds toward posts from family and friends. With these changes, Facebook’s algorithm will prioritize posts that spark back-and-forth discussion or inspire people to share and interact with other people using the world’s most popular social network.

While it’s too early to say exactly what these changes will mean for businesses, it’s clear Facebook is heading toward what many call “Facebook Zero.” This refers to when Facebook will no longer show a business’s posts or articles for free. We believe this change signals a new era for Facebook Business Pages, where businesses are required to pay for the placement of content in consumers’ News Feeds.

“Folks, this is a pretty HUGE update,” posted Premier Facebook Marketing Expert Mari Smith following the announcement. “To see solid ROI on Facebook, businesses must invest in ads. The good news, though, is advertising done properly on Facebook and Instagram can dramatically grow your business.”

And here’s more good news: The Des Moines-based company our team has built, Denim®, makes it easy for companies to optimize, launch, and scale social media and mobile ads.

Social Media Advertising Best Practices

“News Feed equals Main Street, and businesses must learn how to advertise there,” said Michael Stelzner, Founder and CEO of Social Media Examiner.

Here are some things for businesses to keep in mind as they shift their social media strategies to include advertising.

  • Establish mobile and social media advertising budgets. Is your firm spending money, time, and effort sharing content on Facebook organically? Now that hardly anyone will see shared articles and posts from business pages, it’s time to establish paid advertising budgets. According to eMarketer, spending on mobile advertising is expected to increase 92 percent from $53 billion in 2017 to $102 billion in 2021. And by 2021, mobile advertising will represent nearly 80 percent of total digital ad spending.
  • Optimize ad content and audience targeting. Because advertising is the best opportunity to get into consumers’ News Feeds, make sure you are targeting ads to the right consumers at the right time with the right message. This is why Denim has aggregated more than a billion data points (and counting) on consumer engagement with hyper-local mobile and social media ads powered for insurance and financial services companies. The data contains rich stories about consumer behavior that we’re using to help our customers make smarter marketing decisions.
  • Add more video to your social media mix. We know people crave video content. More importantly, this type of helpful, educational, and entertaining video content is more likely to drive interaction and discussion through likes, comments, and shares – which is key with Facebook’s revamped News Feed algorithm. “Companies will need to begin doing a lot more story-telling with their videos and content,” shared Stelzner.
  • Advertising on mobile and social media is one of the best ways to connect with today’s digital consumers — and it’s only getting better. While Facebook’s announcement earlier this year does signal the end of organic reach for businesses, it doesn’t mean businesses should put less effort into their mobile and social media engagement strategies. In fact, they should take the opposite approach. By establishing a social media and mobile advertising budget, leveraging data, and optimizing ads, businesses won’t only survive Facebook Zero — they’ll thrive.

For more insights, tips, and best practices to successfully advertise on mobile and social media download Denim’s ebook: Facebook Zero: How to Survive and Thrive.

Tim Laehn is the Director of Marketing at Denim, a Des Moines-based company providing an intelligent, intuitive mobile and social media advertising automation platform for financial services companies.

Laehn: Navigating Facebook’s Updated News Feed Algorithm | Clay & Milk
A central Iowa ag-tech accelerator has secured more backers and finally has a name. The Greater Des Moines Partnership first announced the accelerator last year, naming four initial investors. On Monday, the Partnership said the program will be called the "Iowa AgriTech Accelerator" and named three new investors. The new investors include Grinnell Mutual, Kent Corp. and Sukup Manufacturing, all Iowa companies. They join investors Deere & Co., Peoples Co., Farmers Mutual Hail Insurance Co. and DuPont Pioneer. Each investor has agreed to put up $100,000 for the first year of the accelerator. Startups entering the program will receive $40,000 in seed funding in exchange for 6 percent equity. Tej Dhawan, an angel investor and local startup mentor, is serving as interim director until the AgriTech Accelerator names a permanent leader. Dhawan held a similar role with the GIA before Brian Hemesath was named as managing director. As interim director, Dhawan said his main job includes hiring the accelerator's executive director, establishing a business structure and initial recruiting for the first cohort. The accelerator will place few filters, such as location and product, on the applicant pool, Dhawan said. "When you’re seeking innovation, innovation can come from every corner of the world so why restrict ourselves," he said. One area the the AgriTech Accelerator won't recruit from is biotech. For its first cohort, the AgriTech Accelerator will work out of the GIA's space in Des Moines' East Village, Dhawan said. A future, permanent home is still to be decided. The accelerator's program will host startups from mid-July through mid-October, ending with an event connected to the annual World Food Prize. The GIA, which the AgriTech Accelerator is based on, also ends with presentations at an industry event. The accelerator has also started lining up a mentor pool. The Iowa Corn Growers Association, Iowa Soybean Association and the Iowa Pork Producers Association have agreed to provide mentors, as has Iowa State University. While the AgriTech Accelerator is loosely based off of the GIA, it will differ in its business structure, Dhawan said. The GIA runs through a for-profit model for both operations and its investment fund. The AgriTech Accelerator will have a nonprofit model for its operations and a for-profit setup for its fund. Dhawan said the nonprofit model is being used so the accelerator can better work with other nonprofit partners, such as trade associations. "These are all organizations that are nonprofits and can be amazing stakeholders without ever having to be investors in the accelerator," he said. "It becomes easier to work with trade associations in their nonprofit role when we are also a nonprofit." When it's up and running, the AgriTech Accelerator would be one of a handful of ag-focused startup development programs in Iowa. Others include the Ag Startup Engine out of Iowa State University and the Rural Ventures Alliance from Iowa MicroLoan. Matthew Patane is the managing editor and co-founder of Clay & Milk. Send him an email at
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