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Philadelphia Marriott West Completes $5.6 Million Renovation Project

Hotel Interactive - Fri, 2016-07-22 05:20
WEST CONSHOHOCKEN, PA-—Guests checking into the Philadelphia Marriott West are in for an exciting new stay experience as the hotel has ...

5 Hacks for Mission Impossible: Bring Back Your Facebook Organic Reach

Small Business Trends - Fri, 2016-07-22 05:00

Ladies and gentlemen. We come together today to once again mourn the loss of Facebook organic reach, to share the grief all of us marketers feel. And perhaps, in that sharing, we can find the strength to look toward the future with some hope.

Facebook Organic Reach Takes a Big Hit

Yes, organic reach on Facebook is abysmal and getting worse, thanks to the latest announcement from the social network that’s visited by more than a billion users every day. Facebook will show more funny videos and baby pictures posted by family and friends instead of news and other marketing content from brands, businesses and publishers.

How bad is organic engagement on Facebook? On average, it’s somewhere in the neighborhood of less than one percent.

Yikes.

Every once in a while, one of your posts might still get tons of organic engagement. But it’s fast becoming mission impossible.

Facebook: Unhackable.

Bottom line: if people really love your content and engage with it, then they are more likely to see more of that type of content in the future. The reverse is also true — if you post garbage, and if people don’t engage with it, then those people are even less likely to see your stuff in the future.

More engagement (i.e., shares, comments, Likes) means more visibility in Facebook’s news feed. Facebook’s algorithm is more likely to give more visibility to posts that resonate well, to audition it in front of more people.

In fact, Facebook Ads, Google AdWords and even organic search work the same way.

So what’s the solution?

Your mission, if you choose to accept it, is to mitigate the loss from the latest Facebook newsfeed algorithm. You must raise your organic engagement rates.

Let’s meet your new weapons — the five crazy hacks that will help you do what’s said to be impossible: hack the Facebook newsfeed algorithm.

Note: Some of these hacks involve spending a little bit of money. Others are totally free. All of them are totally worth your time.

Facebook Newsfeed Hack #1: Preferred Audience Targeting

Listen up: Preferred audience targeting is a brand new Facebook feature that works just like ad targeting, but for your organic posts. That’s right, this new feature lets you target your organic updates as if they were ads, for free. Facebook lets you target your update so only the people who are most likely to be interested in your update will see it.

Here’s where the preferred audience targeting option can be found:

This feature is so powerful because not everyone who follows your Facebook page is going to care about every single update you publish. If you want to start raising your organic engagement, you need to stop broadcasting to all of your followers and focus on those people who are most likely to engage with specific updates.

Think about it. Why do people follow huge companies like IBM or GE? It could be for any number of reasons.

Facebook’s preferred audiences feature is pure genius for companies that have a variety of products and divisions, or that operate in multiple countries. You can narrow the targeting based on users’ interests and locations to reach the people you really want without bothering the rest of your followers.

This feature also has benefits for smaller companies and publishers. Take me for example. I post updates on a wide variety of topics, including online advertising, entrepreneurship, social media marketing, SEO, branding, and growth hacking.

Preferred audience targeting allows me to decide who sees my posts — or who won’t see my post, using audience restrictions:

Here’s another example. Let’s say you’re a French clothing retailer with locations in France, Poland and Germany. You could make it so that only French-speaking millennial females who live near your locations will see your post announcing your latest deals.

Remember: everybody who likes your page isn’t your target market. Plenty of random people will like your page over time, but then never engage with your updates, visit your website or buy from you.

If you can only reach one percent of your audience, you should more narrowly target the people who are truly interested in what you have to offer. Giving people what they’re interested in is what great marketing is all about — and, in the process, it will help you raise your Facebook engagement rate significantly.

Facebook Newsfeed Hack #2: The Unicorn Detector Pyramid Scheme

The Unicorn Detector Pyramid Scheme is the process you can use to separate your content unicorns from the donkeys.

What is a content unicorn? Well, content becomes a unicorn when it is clearly among the top one to two percent of all of your content. These are your most rare and beautiful pieces of content that attract the most shares, engagement and views.

A content donkey, on the other hand, doesn’t stand out at all. At most, it’s average. Ninety-eight percent of your content will be donkeys that get average engagement — again, less than one percent is the average organic engagement on Facebook, which is insanely low, right?

To raise your organic engagement rates on Facebook, you need to post fewer, but better updates. You can test out your content organically on Twitter. Here’s how it works.

Post lots of stuff on Twitter — somewhere around 20 tweets per day. But imagine that every tweet has been infected with a virus, one that will ultimately kill them without the antidote within less than 24 hours.

The only cure for these infected tweets? They need to get a significant number of retweets, clicks, likes and replies.

Examine your top tweets in Twitter Analytics. Those tweets with the most engagement — your top 5 or 10 percent — have survived!

Your content that got the most engagement on Twitter is also highly likely to generate similar engagement on Facebook.

Facebook Newsfeed Hack #3: Post Engagement Ads

You can use Facebook’s Post Engagement Ads to give your posts a bit of a push. Yes, that means you’re spending a little money to “earn” some free reach in the news feed.

For example, let’s say I posted the above update only on my wall. The engagement is going to be pretty low. Maybe a few hundred people will see it.

So what happens if I spend just $20 to promote it? In this case, I paid for more than 4,400 impressions (clicks, follows, likes, etc.), but also got more than 1,000 organic engagements for free as a result.

How? Whenever someone shares your promoted post, it results in more people seeing it organically in their newsfeeds and engaging with it.

Facebook Newsfeed Hack #4: Add Engaged Followers

Did you know there’s a way you can selectively invite people who have recently engaged with one of your Facebook posts to like your page? This is a valuable but little-known feature available to some (but not all) pages.

You want people who engage with you to become part of your Facebook fan base. You know these people like you and are more likely to engage with your content because they’ve done so in the past.

Does it work? Yep. Between 15 to 20 percent of the people I invite to like my page are doing so.

Oh, and did I mention it’s totally free? You can read more about the Facebook invite button here.

If you want to further increase your Facebook following, you could run a remarketing and list-based Facebook Fan / Page Promotion campaign, but I wouldn’t recommend it. I don’t think it’s a good investment unless you have a ridiculously low number of followers. You’re better off doing nothing.

Our goal is to increase engagement rates to increase earned organic engagement. Attracting the wrong types of fans could hurt, rather than help, your engagement rates.

Facebook Newsfeed Hack #5: Use Video Content

The decline of organic reach almost mirrors the rise of video on Facebook.

Users watch more than eight billion videos every day on the social network. And these videos are generating lots of engagement.

Just look at this recent research from BuzzSumo, which examined the average total number of shares of Facebook videos:

Facebook is doing its best to try to kill YouTube as the top platform for video. If you haven’t yet, now is the time to jump on the bandwagon.

Stop sharing vanilla posts that get little to no engagement. Add some video into your marketing mix! That should help improve your organic engagement because engagement begets engagement.

Closing Thoughts on the Facebook Newsfeed Algorithm

Facebook organic reach is pretty terrible. That’s why you should start treating your organic Facebook posts more like a paid channel, where you have to be pickier and optimize to maximize engagement, in the hopes of getting more earned organic engagement.

We’ll never get back the Facebook organic reach we’ve lost over the past few years. However, these five hacks will help dramatically increase your organic engagement and mitigate your losses from the latest Facebook news feed change.

Images via WordStream

This article, "5 Hacks for Mission Impossible: Bring Back Your Facebook Organic Reach" was first published on Small Business Trends

Mercedes Benz of Birmingham Honored as Mercedes-Benz Best of the Best...

PR Web - Fri, 2016-07-22 03:30

Mercedes-Benz of Birmingham's award recognizes them as a member of the top 15% of dealerships nationwide in 2015

(PRWeb July 13, 2016)

Read the full story at http://www.prweb.com/releases/2016/07/prweb13539054.htm

The man with fried chicken in his blood

Topix - Fri, 2016-07-22 01:50

Restaurant Brands, the owner of KFC, today reiterated its forecast net profit after tax for the current financial year at $28 to $30 million. Australian businessman Stephen Copulos said getting shares in listed Restaurant Brands, in which he is now the second largest shareholder, was a key part of the fast food brands company acquiring his family's KFC franchise in New South Wales.

Categories: Today's Food News

Pokemon Go finally launches in Japan

Topix - Thu, 2016-07-21 23:47

First released in the US, Australia and New Zealand on 6 July and now available in more than 30 countries, the game has been a global phenomenon. The Japanese launch is a sponsorship tie-in with McDonalds, with fast food restaurants expected to be Pokestops and "gyms" After weeks of stories about people in other countries running into trouble playing the game, Japanese authorities have taken precautions and issued a nine-point safety guide, in cartoon form.

Categories: Today's Food News

"Patriotic" South China Sea Protests Condemned

Topix - Thu, 2016-07-21 19:42

At The Wall Street Journal, Chun Han Wong rounds up state media attempts to cool the fervor of nationalism on the streets of China : "In the age of economic globalization, many products used in daily living, big and small, are 'hybrids,'" using parts from both the U.S. and China, the People's Daily said in "With so many ordinary Chinese folk working in the [fast-food] industry supply chain, are you going to feed them if they lose their jobs?" the newspaper wrote. "The internet was invented by the U.S., so should we boycott the internet and retreat into the pre-internet age?" State-run China Daily, for its part, decried the anti-KFC protests as a show of "jingoism that does a disservice to the spirit of devotion to the nation."

Categories: Today's Food News

Whatever Happened to Workflow Management Software Ofuz?

Small Business Trends - Thu, 2016-07-21 17:30

Ofuz was an all-in-one business suite that provided a range of tools — contact management, task management, time-tracking and invoicing — to manage a business through the sale cycle.

After receiving $250,000 in seed funding, Ofuz was released into public beta in October 2009. But as quickly as it surfaced, it was gone, with hardly a notice — almost none, in fact.

The lack of information about the company’s speedy demise caused Small Business Trends to investigate what occurred. Ofuz founder Phillippe Lewicki was kind enough to accommodate the request for an interview.

Story of Ofuz Demise

Lewicki said he began the Ofuz project nine years ago and created a minimum viable product to initiate a startup. He gave up, however, after searching unsuccessfully for two years to find a business development co-founder.

“After two years of searching, I gave up and tried to get it going myself,” Lewicki said. “My team and I are awesome at building great, ahead of their time products, but we are not good at promoting and selling them.”

Lewicki said that, in publicizing Ofuz, he also learned it would have been easier to create three distinct products instead of a bundled platform.

“I stopped promoting the service about five years ago and moved on to other ventures,” he said.

Ofuz Platform Still in Use

Ofuz users still have access to their accounts, Lewicki said. Also, the service is open source and available for free with the full source code at Github.

Lewicki added that he and his team use the product to run part of his consulting firm, and are improving on it. All upgrades are published back to the open source project.

Startup Lessons Learned

Not all is lost where Ofuz is concerned, said Lewicki. He went on to list two valuable startup lessons learned in the process.

“The first was not to try and raise funding without a solid and complete team,” he said. “As a developer, to build a successful startup, I need a good business development partner to complement my skill set.”

Lewicki added that he made a mistake by over-developing the product and setting its direction too soon, which led to the second lesson.

“So what I learned is to build the team first around the idea and concept, and then begin development,” he said. “Any solo work is a waste of time; be ready to compromise and give up control.”

When asked what advice he would give to other startup entrepreneurs, Lewicki said, “Find passionate, hard-working teammates, and solve a big problem that no one else is seeing.”

Lewicki’s experience is one shared by many startup entrepreneurs, especially those who have a talent for development but not fundraising necessarily.

“You can conceive a great idea, execute on it, but find that, without a complete team to supplement your abilities and talents, your idea may fail to come to fruition,” he said. “Ofuz was just one of my ‘failed’ startups.”

This article, "Whatever Happened to Workflow Management Software Ofuz?" was first published on Small Business Trends

Chipotle 2Q same-store sales drop 23.6 percent

Nation's Restaurant News - Thu, 2016-07-21 16:48
New loyalty program gains traction in July New loyalty program gains traction in July

read more

Starbucks mobile order-pay usage increases

Nation's Restaurant News - Thu, 2016-07-21 16:45
5 percent of U.S. transactions through app in third quarter 5 percent of U.S. transactions through app in third quarter

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One-unit Sliderz gets a $21M investment

Nation's Restaurant News - Thu, 2016-07-21 16:42
Concept planning to expand in nontraditional locations like malls and in airports Concept planning to expand in nontraditional locations like malls and in airports

read more

Del Frisco’s reveals more details of smaller Grille

Nation's Restaurant News - Thu, 2016-07-21 15:33
Smaller footprint is intended to reduce costs and increase flexibility Smaller footprint is intended to reduce costs and increase flexibility

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National Hot Dog Day: $1 grilled dogs at Burger King on Saturday

Topix - Thu, 2016-07-21 15:24

Burger King's new grilled hot dogs, fresh from the bag. Top: the Classic, made with diced onions, relish, ketchup and mustard.

Categories: Today's Food News

One Gotta Go: NBA players settle the fast food beef

Topix - Thu, 2016-07-21 15:24

Bonta and Eddie crashed Summer League in Las Vegas to try and get to know some of our favorite NBA personalities a little better. We asked the tough questions and made people make choices about the things they love.

Categories: Today's Food News

The business model that made McDonald's a fast-food powerhouse is crumbling

Topix - Thu, 2016-07-21 15:24

Chains like McDonald's, Burger King, and Wendy's have long relied on cheap labor to keep menu prices low while still driving a healthy profit. But the days of cheap labor could soon be over, turning the entire business model on its head, according to The industry is facing unprecedented pressure to raise wages due to three major factors: a shrinking labor pool, local legislation increasing the minimum wage, and new overtime pay rules, Levy wrote in a recent note.

Categories: Today's Food News

McDonald’s expands garlic fries availability

Nation's Restaurant News - Thu, 2016-07-21 14:39
Popular menu item to expand to restaurants in San Francisco Bay Area Popular menu item to expand to restaurants in San Francisco Bay Area

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Spotlight: Mall of America goes virtual

Store Front Talk Back - Thu, 2016-07-21 13:41

Minnesota's Mall of America now lets shoppers explore the mall using virtual reality. 

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Charleys Introduces Nacho Fries and Raspberry Lemonade

QSR Magazine - Thu, 2016-07-21 13:40
Image Caption: Image Credit: Charleys offers new nacho fries and signature lemonade for summer.Exclusive Brief: 0

Charleys Philly Steaks, known for its grilled-to-order Cheesesteaks, is introducing two new menu options this summer: Nacho Deluxe Fries and Raspberry Signature Lemonade. Both offerings will be available for a limited time only through September 4.

The Nacho Deluxe Fries feature Charleys’ famous fries cooked-to-order and loaded with warm Cheddar cheese sauce, shredded Cheddar cheese, bacon bits, diced tomatoes, zesty Jalapeno Ranch dressing, jalapenos, and chives. The loaded fries start at $3.99.

Chains: Charleys Philly Steaks

Hershey's to open massive flagship

Store Front Talk Back - Thu, 2016-07-21 13:27

Hershey's is bringing its Hershey's Chocolate World to Times Square with a newly expanded location slated to open in 2017.

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