Facebook Life After Like Gating

By: Taylor Callais

Facebook recently announced a fairly meaningful policy change, as of November 5th like gating is no longer allowed.

  • You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, checkin at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page. To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives. We believe this update will benefit people and advertisers alike.”

What this boils down to is community managers are no longer allowed to incentivize users to like their page. Rather than giving users content that they could actually benefit from, it has been common practice to incentivize users to like a page through rewards or the use of gating apps. In most scenarios this led to the padding of statistics. Pages would have more likes but were those people really of any value? Of course not, the only reason they bought in was to get 50% off happy hour appetizers on the third Thursday of the month (and they probably never got those mozzarella sticks).

Perhaps you have used this Like-Gate technique a time or two. Facebook, which re-writes the rule book as frequently as the Minnesota Twins lose baseball games, has decided they have had enough. What does it all mean? Better content equals a better community.  Perhaps you will scramble to find new ways to attract people to your corner of the Facebook behemoth. But with a slightly different approach to your social media marketing, it’s going to be ok.

Here is a list of ways to still promote and build your social media communities now that like gating is no longer an option on Facebook.

  1. Develop and implement social campaigns that are actually, you know…good – Whaaaa?? Crazy I know, but deep down if you create content that people want to see and more importantly share, it will snowball. They’ll like and share your content and then they’ll tell two friends and they’ll tell two friends. If that post worked, determine why? Was it the image? Was it the copy? Was it the time that it was posted? Your best posts are going to be a combination of those factors and much more. The sooner you get friendly with analytics, the sooner you will be able to hone and refine your strategy. Really get down to the nitty-gritty of Facebook Insights.
  2. Pay to Play – Sad but true. These days Facebook’s organic reach is essentially zero (see article Death of Organic Reach). More and more of the larger social platforms are turning to paid promotions as a way of making a brand’s message heard. Community managers have to get used to the fact that what was once free now will require a little capital. Just like your content however, implementing paid promotions into your overall strategy should not be done without some thought as to how it relates to your business’s goals. Here are a few helpful articles to make sense of paid promotion.
  3. Get off Facebook – No, no don’t close out this window just yet, keep reading. Don’t assume on blind faith that Facebook is the right platform for your organization. Really assess if the time, effort and money are really worth it. Is it helping you meet your business goals or are you just on Facebook because everyone else is? If Facebook really is driving awareness and engagement for your brand, great! See steps 1-2 on how to continue to build on that. If after looking into it you believe that Facebook is no longer effective for your business, determine which of the numerous other platforms might equal or even surpass what Facebook has done for your business.

So like gating is no more. It’s time to adapt, retool, reinvigorate not only your company’s use of Facebook, but maybe your entire use of social media. You might be surprised at what you find. Of course if you need help, the friendly and knowledgeable folks with Sprightly Insight can get you back on track.


Implementing Social Media like a Champion Golfer

This past month, Rory McIlroy won two golf tournaments, including The Open Championship at the Royal Liverpool Golf Club. After raising the Claret Jug in his victory, he was asked about the approach he took during the tournament. The two words he keep in his mind were “Spot” and “Process”. When trying to reach victory with your social media efforts, Rory’s approach can be words of wisdom.

Spot – There are some Social Media Professionals that claim you should be on as many social media platforms as possible. “If you have content to share, your company should be there!” But as in golf, it is more important to hit your target (market) than to spray your message all over the place. First step would be to assess your target market and determine which social media channels your target market are most likely to be active. This would be similar to a golfer assessing their yardage, the wind and determining which club will allow them to hit the right shot to the right spot. With the proper social media channels chosen, you can be efficient with your time and message. If you are unsure what social media channels your target market is active, look to established competitors and see which channels they have active communities.

Process – With your Spot determined, we need to implement your social media strategy. For small businesses looking to get started, my suggestion is to simplify your process. This would be your “Grip it n’ Rip it” approach. The keys to this process would be Content Curation, Distribution, Monitoring and Engagement.

Content Curation – Develop and Discover content that will be highly shareable to your audience. Remember to the live by the 80/20 rule and stay away from straight selling. No one on social media wants to see “Buy This! Buy That!” content. Try developing content that shows the company’s personality and expertise.

Distribution – Post this content to your primary social channels. If you have more than two primary channels, consider using a social media distribution platform like Hootsuite, SproutSocial or Buffer. These platforms also offer content suggestions based on your industry and interests.

Monitoring – As your content is distributed, continue to monitor for your communities reactions and whether there are interactions that need to be regulated or questions are asked directly of you. Sometimes these questions or concerns can lead to sales opportunities if responded to promptly. Included in the monitoring phase would be monitoring analytics to determine effectiveness of content and time of distribution.

Engagement – As you monitor your communities, look for signs of content engagement. Likes, comments, shares, retweets, +1s are all signs of content engagement. Comments can be a great way for your business to have conversations with your customers. Keeping an eye on shares can also direct you to conversation about your company or industry that may happen outside your company page.

This would be a simple social media Process that can help you hit your target. For more advanced approaches, I would recommend reviewing the blog article from Social Media Examiner, “26 Tips to Create a Strong Social Media Content Strategy

For questions on how to get started with this process reach out  to us through our Contact Page

Images courtesy of Rory McIlroy Facebook

LinkedIn Update: Mobile App Edition

LinkedIn has recently released a few new and updated version of their mobile apps.

LinkedIn Jobs Search App – Introduce in mid-June this app was developed with the key job search and application features that are currently on the web version of LinkedIn. Their one-step apply button was a key feature that migrated over, along with saved searches, discover, track and notifications based on searches and applications. With social channels seeing users increase their viewing on mobile, it was smart for LinkedIn to create a simple app to search, navigate and apply through all the jobs posted on their platform. They have taken a clear advantage, over job  board Goliaths like Monster and CareerBuilder, with the most efficient mobile app for job applications.

For a full overview of the app, see this blog article we wrote for our client.

LinkedIn Contacts App is now LinkedIn Connected – Updated in early July, this app has some of the same features  as before but with a much simpler interface. It is still based on getting you to connect with your contacts as often as possible with work anniversary and birthday notifications. It also looks to expand your network through suggested connections based on shared connections. Unfortunately you can’t customize your message if you choose to connect with any of the suggestions and that is always preferred.

LinkedIn App Update – LinkedIn updated their mobile app this week with a new look to their profiles. Their goal is to highlight the key information likes shared connections, skills, education and current employment. This design should allow users to get the gist of what a professional is all about without scanning their entire profile.

“In particular, a lot of the company’s attention has been focused on mobile devices, following a surge of use. Three years ago, LinkedIn said, 8 percent of users were connecting with a mobile device. This year, it expects more than half will.” via C|NET

For more on this quote and the LinkedIn App redesign, check out the article from C|NET

We’re Hiring – Digital Marketing Associate

Digital Marketing Associate (Part-Time)

Job Summary:

This position will be responsible for managing the content distribution for client’s social media channels on a daily basis. This individual will need to write blogs and develop email copy for monthly communications. This opportunity is best for an individual that is able to work independently, with limited direction. They will also have a firm understanding of how to navigate through social media channels and copywriting ability. An entrepreneurial spirit would be a welcome addition as we continue to grow and business development will be rewarded.

Essential Job Functions:

–          Write social media content for various markets according to brand strategy

–          Post and schedule content through SMM tools and Native Social Channels

–          Write blog posts relevant to audience on topics of interest with keywords for SEO

–          Run occasional metric reports for clients (social, google analytics)

–          Write Email copy

–          Occasional industry networking events

Technical Knowledge:

–          Social Media Channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Twitter, YouTube)

–          Hootsuite

–          Google Analytics/Google Local

–          MailChimp

–          WordPress

–          Blog writing practices for SEO

–          Adobe CS skills a plus

As a part-time Digital Marketing Associate, you will be able to commit 15-25 hours per week, depending on workload efficiency and experience level. There is potential for more hours as more clients sign on with Sprightly Insight.

Sprightly Insight is managed by Jason Schober who has worked with startups, small to medium sized businesses and Fortune 500s as a Digital Marketing Professional. The ideal candidate will be eager to learn but provide a voice to help the consultancy grow.

Compensation: $13-$17/hr depending on experience

To apply, please submit Resume, LinkedIn Profile and writing examples to jason@sprightlyinsight.com

What is New? Social Media Updates


News Feed Algorithm Change – So the major change came in December, when Facebook decided to limit the amount of Page Fans that could see your content. Previous average was around 15% and now after a few months, certain studies have shown continuous decrease in organic reach down to 6%. What does this mean? You need to used paid adds to ensure your important content is reaching all of your audience.

Change to News Feed Change – After realizing this sharp decline and uproar from social media marketers, Facebook decided to add a “but if” feature. Basically the algorithm will stay the same, “but if” you post content with another page tagged, you will show in the feed of that Pages fans. This was added just a few weeks ago, so there has not been enough evidence to support how effective this is yet. In my own personal use of this strategy, I have seen better than normal organic reach numbers. Those numbers will vary depending on the size of the community for the FB Page you tagged.

Page Post Author Feature – This is a nifty little feature that will help organizations with multiple content contributors, know exactly who is posting what to their FB Pages. This can also help identify who the true social media marketers are in your organization.screenshot_postauthor


Activity Feed is Removed from Profiles –  If you are not an active LinkedIn user, you may not have noticed this. But for me, this was an amazing feature. LinkedIn was responding to being the “Non-Social Social Network” with having smaller engagement numbers than Facebook and Twitter. Both of with have a history of content posted from a user listed on their profile. This was a feature that I used on a daily basis for networking and lead generation, but will rely on activity feeds on Company Pages instead. Being able to see content (without it being posted within the last hour) that a connection had posted, I can make a comment or InMail them with reference to something they recently had interest in. By eliminating this feature, users will have to resort back to the “what is new?” correspondence. If LinkedIn is smart, they will bring this feature back.

LinkedIn Intro Email Integration Discontinued – This was a email integration with Gmail that would pull in LinkedIn profiles to your email contacts if the email recipient you were emailing had that email address within their LinkedIn profile. This was rarely used and rarely talked about. Great idea in concept, but little user adoption and not worth reconsidering.


Twitter Emphasizes Photos – After their re-design late last year (adding more focus to profile images/backgrounds), Twitter made a conscious effort to make photo sharing easier to view through their activity feed. It has proven effective as Buffer has documented a 150% increase in retweet of content with images vs those without images prior to the change.

Tailored Audiences for Advertisers – Trying to catch up to Facebook’s advertising platform, Twitter added a feature allowing advertisers to target twitter users that have recently visited their website. A create feature that has work wonders on Facebook, now available to real-time marketing on Twitter.

*Stay Tuned, as there have been releases of a new Twitter Profile design that looks awfully like Facebook… at this point they are still testing. (via mashable)

twitter redesign

My Superbowl XLVIII Top 5

by: Jason Schober

First off, I would love to say that this Superbowl was not as exciting as last year’s Superbowl. So most of on the fun came from watching commercials, viewing comments on Twitter, and food with family and friends. Here are my Top 5s.

Top 5 Commercials

“Puppy Love” Budweiser (Saw this before the game and knew it would be a fan favorite)

“A Hero’s Welcome” Budweiser (This should be commonplace, and it’s not. That is what makes it special)

“Life” Chevrolet #purpleroads (Dealing with my wife’s cancer diagnosis this year, this one hit home)

“Going All the Way” Coca-Cola (This also hit home as a huge Packer fan)

“The Phone Call” RadioShack (Great way to bring in cameos and poke fun at your own stale image”

Top 5 Tweets #Superbowl

Most of these are in response to how badly the Broncos were getting beat.

This kid couldn’t handle it anymore.


This guy took to Photoshop to express how badly the Broncos were playing


Here is one offer of explanation to what was happening.


Local Minneapolis Ad Agency gave a “The Onion” style solution, even if Joe Namath is an easy target to pick on.


But you know things really got bad when a politician starts comparing your team to the Vikings.


Welcome to the Neighborhood: Day Block Brewing

by: Jason Schober

“Another brewery opened in Minneapolis? Didn’t one just open last week?” This seems to be the sentiment around the Twin Cities as there are new breweries and brewpubs opening at an exponential rate since 2012. The latest to join the Twin Cities Craft Brewing scene is Day Block Brewing Company. Located at 1105 Washington Ave S it is going to have plenty of foot traffic from future Vikings games (stadium only two blocks away) and it is conveniently located between Downtown hipster hangout Grumpy’s and 7 Corners destination beer bars Republic and Town Hall Brewpub. The redevelopment of this area over the past 5 years (now referred to as Downtown East) offers a lot of opportunity for Day Block to be successful.

What Makes Day Block Unique?

There are two unique approaches that are very consciously showcased. photo_2

First, Day Block is a Brewpub, not just a brewery, with two distinct sides of their space. They have a taproom on the east side of the space that has more bar top and high top space for the “stop in for one” type of drinker in the neighborhood. The west side of the space is more of the dining area with low top seating for the full “going out” experience. The nice thing is, you have the opportunity to order food from their kitchen in either location. Their menu is highlighted by rotating Bacon and Pickle flights, along with some classic flavors, reinterpreted in pizza form like the Bahn Mizza and the Chimmi.

Second, they have partnered with local hop growers and malt roasters to offer locally sourced beer. Not an unusual concept, but they are pulling it to the forefront by showcasing and even naming the beers after their local varietals and hop growing partners. Hippity Hop Pale Ale has hops sourced from Hippity Hop Farms in Forest lake and the Northern Discovery IPA uses the hop varietal from its name, which is a rare breed grown in western Wisconsin.

It will be interesting to see if they can scale this locally sourced beer effort as they grow in the future.

How is the Beer?

I tried 4 of the 5 flagships, minus the Day Block Porter. (which was the consensus favorite from my group I was with. A Porter worth drinking year round. Not heavy, with a nice dry finish.”)

Hippity Hop Pale Ale 6% ABV

This seems to be in line with a lot of American Pale Ales. It focuses on the locally sourced Cascade hops from Hippity Hop Farms in Forest Lake and Rahr malt from Shakopee. It has allows the cascade hops to come through the malt but doesn’t slap you across the face with it like a West Coast IPA would. The malt really balances it out for a middle of the road Pale Ale with only 43 IBUs. Closest to… Fulton Sweet Child o’ Vine

Northern Discovery IPA 5.5% ABV

Called a Session IPA, I believe more in the flavor/IBU sense rather than the classic sense (low ABV). This IPA has a bright, floral smell and taste without a bitter finish to make this easy to drink. The malt is tamer on this one allowing those hop notes of Northern Discovery to shine through. I am a real fan of this one, as I am normally opposed to the bitter, dry finishes of the traditional English-Style IPAs. Closest to… Founders All Day IPA

Frank’s Red Ale 5.3% ABV

I think there description says it best, “Frank’s Red is a malt forward ale with notes of toast and caramel.” This is a straight forward beer with light body and malt all the way through. Didn’t catch much hop notes in this at all, so a solid for those that don’t like hoppy bears. Closest to… New Belgium Fat Tire

Winter Witbier 5.8% ABV

Sometime you just need a good Belgian style beer to get over the cold Minnesota days. This is a classic Wit Bier (Belgian White) and I applaud them for trying a Belgian as part of their initial release. Many breweries stick with their flagships and one yeast strain before trying other varieties. This will be approachable from all types of beer drinkers. Closest to… Bell’s Winter White

Overall, this is a solid group of beer to launch. While none of them knock my socks off, I can tell there was some thought put into these beers and how they came to market in Day Block’s debut. For more information on Hours, Menu and Beer, checkout their website www.dayblockbrewing.com

In other Beer News:

  • Boom Island is re-opening with a new Taproom this weekend. They specialize in Belgian Style beers and are located in NE MPLS.
  • Tonight is the Minnesota Craft Brewer’s Guild Winterfest at Union Depot in St. Paul. A great lineup of brewers but unfortunately Soldout.
  • Fulton is releasing their Coffee infused Imperial Stout, War & Peace, on Saturday at their Taproom
  • Oskar Blues is being released in the MN market for the first time starting next week Monday. I will be attending an event at The Groveland Tap on Tuesday.
  • Other events: Firkin Fest at The Happy Gnome on March 22nd and Northern Lights Rare Beer Fest at MN Historical Society in St Paul on March 29th

LinkedIn Advertising: What You Need to Know

by: Jason Schober

When it comes to developing a LinkedIn Marketing Strategy for your Business, there are a few things to consider. Your Content Strategy should be the first thing to out line. While strategic content marketing is no longer getting organic reach to your prospective audience due to changing algorithms, it is paramount to successful audience engagement. Content plays an even bigger role when developing a LinkedIn Ad. The Content you choose to promote will either attract the viewer to take action or be ignored. When content for LinkedIn Advertisements, get this determined first.

1. Should you run an Ad or a Sponsored Update Campaign?Ads2

Your campaign content will vary depending on your target audience and that content will be different from Ads to Sponsored Updates. A simple status update will target those that follow your Company Page, but if you feel that other LinkedIn users beyond your followers should know about this update, you can run a “Sponsored Update”.  This will show as a Native Advertisement through the users news feed, but with a small distinctive “Sponsored” title. Another option are Ads. They generally show as a traditional static Ad with limits on content. But, LinkedIn also introduced video ads, which run about twice the cost of a traditional ad seen below. This will allow you to embed a video where the image should be to attract the viewer with 30 to 60 seconds of content. If my targeting is correct, my goal is to have a slight uptick on my average organic engagement rate on a Sponsored Story campaign Click-through rate (CTR) . Ads will have an average CTR of .08% (click/impression).


2. Who is your Target Audience?

LinkedIn will allow you to target your Ads or Sponsored Updates to a broad or finite audience. The first three filters LinkedIn will offer are Location, Companies (by name or category), Job Title (by title or category). In the Company>Category filter you can go one step further by Industry or Company Size. Another Filter is offered in Titles>Category in filtering by job function or seniority. Two standard audiences to consider for every business are prospective clients/customer and prospective employees.


3. How is your content going to attract your audience?

The additional question to ask in this section would be what action do you want your audience to take? That action can dictate the type of content you develop for your Campaign. If you want them to engage in conversation with your brand, consider a sponsored update with an intriguing question or debatable  topic. This type of content might be easy to find by looking at your Company Page Analytics to see a high engagement rate of your previous posts. This type of campaign will help draw new followers to your company. If you are looking to drive them to your website, you could run an add describing your website redesign, recent blog post or new product launch. I personally have found more traffic generation from Sponsored Updates, as they are a more natural advertisement within my audience’s experience on LinkedIn. 


4. What is your budget for this Ad?

A very simple decision determing how much you can afford, but there are different ways to approach it. Here is how I approach my campaigns.

  1. Run a Campaign for 1 week
  2. Choose a Daily and Total Budget
  3. Run a Cost-Per Click (CPC) campaign instead of Cost-per-Impressions
  4. Review results on the 3rd day and make adjustments to target audience as needed, to either gain more clicks or get clicks from a more specific user.


This approach will get you the most “bang for your buck” and ensure you are reaching your goals for the campaign. Your first try at a campaign might not be a home run, so be patient. But If you find it was a successful campaign, you can choose to duplicate and run again, or run it indefinitely.

If you have any general questions about Ads on LinkedIn Ads, FAQs on LinkedIn are listed here.

If you would like help running LinkedIn advertisements for your company, Sprightly Insight is available for Coaching or for Social Media Management services.

Around the Twin Cities: Top 3 events this weekend

by: Jason Schober

Sometimes when I think about all the things I can do each weekend I get really excited. Almost as excited as these two when they turned their beds into bunk-beds.

So here are 3 things not to miss this weekend around the Twin Cities.

1. Hockey City Classic at TCF Bank Stadium

This Friday evening the Men’s and Women’s Gopher Hockey Team are hosting an outdoor game at the University of Minnesota’s TCF Bank Stadium, where their football team plays every fall. Past events at soldier field have been a success, but University officials have had this event in their minds since the new football stadium debuted in 2009. They are expecting 50,000 people to attend in what is turning into the weekend of Hockey, in the State of Hockey. This one I could not pass up! (If you can’t make it, National Pond Hockey Tournament is happening in South Minneapolis this weekend.)

2. Dangerous Man Brewing’s 1 year anniversary party.

Technically they have been celebrating all week with special releases, but they are saving the best for last. More new releases are planned for their beer. DJ Dudley J is spinning music friday night and Mike Mictlan & Lazerbeak are performing Saturday along with a Beard Contest, which has become common place at Dangerous Man. Tickets are required to attend the event on Saturday night. For more, you can go here Dangerous Man Facebook Page

3. Darkside @ First Avenue

I have always had the mind set that if I have a weekend night available, check to see who is playing at First Avenue. This Saturday, Darkside is playing the mainroom. A new indie dance duo, they are little known now but they are bringing their infectious melting of rhythm guitar and electronic beats to more venues across the country and gaining buzz. For only $15, this show is worth seeing. Read more about them and get a sneak peek from their stop at The Current. Darkside in-studio

Why Facebook’s change to its Promotions Policy is a HUGE deal… to me!

This week, Facebook has decided to FINALLY loosen their promotions policy to make it easier for small business owners to run promotions on their Facebook Business Pages. The reason why this is so important is simple, I no longer have to feel like an idiot when I tell a client “We can’t offer entries into a promotion for likes on your page”. Every single time I would say this, they would look at me funny and say, “everyone else is doing it and it seems to work, why can’t we?”. My main clients at this time were insurance professionals, so I would say to them,”I don’t feel comfortable suggesting a strategy that maximizes your risks on Facebook, to someone whose job it is to minimize risk for their clients.” my short answer was always that it is (was) against Facebook policy and could be grounds for your page to be removed. I had this discussion with so many of my peers on whether you suggest running a promotion for Likes or follow the policies as they are written. Now there are only a few small restrictions and those are more common sense than anything else.

Highlights of the new Promotions Policy:

  • promotions can be run on a Business page timeline or post; they no longer have to be run on third-party apps (however they still can be if you prefer those tools);
  • you can now use Facebook features to gain entry, such as “like our page”, “comment on this photo” or “message us with your email”; however,
  • you cannot ask participants to Tag friends in order to enter or run the promotion on your personal profile. Pages only.

Companies such as Woobox and Heyo have made a market for third-party apps that administered promotions according to Facebook’s previous policy. I think it was only smart of Facebook to make this change for two reasons:

  1. there was no logistical way to enforce the old policy and
  2. they now put the power of the promotion strategy back within the premiere functions of Facebook.

This makes a much easier, therefore better, user experience for both the consumer and business. Below is the link to the new Promotions Policy and the announcement. Please feel free to check it out and let us know if you would like help with your next promotional campaign on Facebook.