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NIC Conference: Feeding the (Ever-Changing) Social Media Feed

Created 9/17/2018 by Veronica Marzilli
Updated 10/3/2018 by Stephanie Lane
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For those of you who manage your organization's social media feeds - or even just use social media in your personal life - you know that it can be a full-time job to keep up with how social media is changing and evolving.

So, it was interesting to hear from Megan McKoy-Noe of Ruralite about a major switch in how social media channels- and their users are sharing information: from traditional posts to "stories."

Back in January, a beleaguered Facebook announced that they were intentionally shifting away from sponsored/pushed content in individual user's feeds, to featuring posts by that person's family and friends first... which seems like that is how it should have worked in the first place!

So, what does that mean for your utility or business' Facebook page?
It means that organic reach on the platform is basically dead - not even those who like your page are guaranteed to see your posts. So, if you have a really crucial message, budget to boost it at least to some degree so that it reaches your customers. Here are some other tips:

 - Tell Stories: Facebook is pushing stories very hard right now, and not many utilities are using those yet. That means if you post stories, they will rank very high.
- Don't post more than once a day : When you post 2x or more per day, your reach decreases by 50%.
- Update your Facebook app regularly: Things are changing fast, so this will help keep you up to speed.
- Be social in your replies to customer comments: Longer replies rank your posts higher, as does content posted in both your feed, and on Facebook Messenger.
- Posts with more engagement show up higher in your customers' feeds: Makes sense, right? A practical application of this idea is when you post about an outage on Facebook. Rather than posting updates separately, go back to the original post and edit/update that - people will be more likely to see and follow it than if you do multiple posts , which may or may not get those updates to your customers.

Which social media is most popular?
McKoy-Noe also shared current stats from Pew research on what percentages of Americans are using which social media channels:

73% - YouTube
68%  - Facebook
35% - Instagram
25% - Linked In
24% - Twitter

Of course these channels are more popular with certain demographic segments, so she would advise to dig a bit further to see which channels meet your customer demographics before focusing resources based on overall use.

Need more info? Ruralite offers tools and resources on their website, and Megan seems to really know her stuff!
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Comments (1)
Megan McKoy-Noe on 09/25/18 on 05:29 AM (Pacific Time)

Thanks for sharing this, Veronica. I'd love to hear from utilities who are using stories successfully to connect with consumers. We learn best when we learn from each other! 

Folks can see the full #2018NIC presentation here: https://prezi.com/view/7TPQ67oKY2zAXMuMPKmg/ 

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