A New Partnership: Facebook’s New Tools for Publishers Show Promise

Publishers have a love-hate relationship with uber-tech giant Facebook. Blame it on the arbitrary algorithms, the battle for a share in advertising revenue and the fact that Facebook drives about 20% of traffic to their sites. Publishers feel vulnerable when left to Facebook’s whims.

But neither side is the bad guy. In fact, Facebook is listening to complaints about the most useful tool for publishers: the actual product. As a measure of goodwill, Facebook has recently announced new publishing tools aimed to satisfy media companies’ needs. On the whole, these are quite positive additions to the market for publishers and brands. Let’s take a look.

1. Interest Targeting

Facebook now lets publishers experiment with niche targeting. Brands can segment their organic content toward fans with specific interests. For example, fans who are interested in tech will be targeted by their specific interest in wearable tech and maybe even in the Apple Watch. Interest targeting feels a lot like SEO in its function. It’s a coin toss on whether interest targeting could gain a lot of engagement through niche markets or lose it.

The downside of interest targeting is that it relies on how active users are on Facebook. This specialized interest targeting can only work if a user has expressed interest on topics their profile, so it could risk alienating consumers or not reaching them at all. It’s also only available to use via desktop version. Sorry Hootsuite fans.

2. Post End Dates

How sick are you of seeing expired deals on your dashboard or old news when scrolling through your feed? One of the new tools aims to fix that. A handy feature for timely news and posts, publishers and can now control how long a post appears on a user’s dashboard by setting an end date. Now, “expired” posts can disappear off of a user’s dashboard and replaced with other content.

3. Smart Publishing

Facebook isn’t arrogant when it calls this new tool “smart.” The tool identifies and publishes stories that are popular on Facebook and pushes them onto user’s dashboard. It’s great for publishers who can market once and be done with it. Once the setting is enabled, the more successfully shared a post is, the more likely it will appear on other dashboards if they have liked a publisher’s page.

It’s only available to publishers, and a limited number at that, but when it’s available to brands it’s sure to be a very valuable tool for exposure. For publishers, it works as almost like an automatized recommendation (because it checks in with other Facebook users with similar interests who have liked or shared that article) via an algorithm.

Facebook also updated their analytics, which is handy for publishers who don’t use Google Analytics, but the real takeaway from these new tools is that Facebook is listening to publishers’ needs and bridging those icy relations. And that’s a good sign for all of those people predicting war between publishers and techies!

20 Great Tools for Freelancers & Publishers to Use

By Emily E. Steck

Including content creation, project & time management, legal and financial and social media and & tools.

  • Google Apps

    By Emily E. Steck

    A word processor with sharing capabilities, this is perfect for sharing and editing your work with editors, contacts and more.

  • Quietly

    By Emily E. Steck

    Quietly's slideshow carousel is perfect for creating short form content. Its image grabber, mapping capabilities and flexible embedding features make it a great tool to sharpen one's work.

  • OpenOffice

    By Emily E. Steck

    A suite of office tools available to use on your hard drive is available to use for free is a great option for freelancers on the cheap. Plus, it's a fully feature writing platform.

  • Evernote & Skitch

    By Emily E. Steck

    Perfect for writing without distractions, Evernote offers a no-mess solution. Skitch allows users to write, annotate or sketch on photos where you'll want to draw attention.

  • Canva

    By Emily E. Steck

    A great tool to create stunning graphic designs for your work, your brand or anything in between, it's a simple and easy tool to use for those who lack artistic talent.

  • Google Calendar

    By Emily E. Steck

    Sometimes, a simple calendar will do to organize events, projects and more.

  • Oh, Don't Forget…

    By Emily E. Steck

    Prone to forgetting to check emails but you will always respond to a text message? Then this product is for you because it sends you a text message to remind you of important projects and dates.

  • Teux Deux

    By Emily E. Steck

    A very simple "to do" list app that crosses off items when they are finished and neatly organizes what you need to accomplish in one day. 

  • MindMeister

    By Emily E. Steck

    MindMeister is a mind mapping and brainstorming tool perfect for collaborating with multiple users and incorporates multimedia mapping and easy task management.

  • Toggl

    By Emily E. Steck

    A very useful tool for freelancers who get paid by the hour, Toggl tracks how long you stay on each task and calculates how much you make along the way. 

  • DocStoc

    By Emily E. Steck

    Need legal and business docs ASAP? Use this database platform to search for free and pay-for documents and download them instantly.

  • Freshbooks

    By Emily E. Steck

    This cloud accounting system is perfect for freelancers who are somewhere on the spectrum between clueless and certified accoutant.

  • LegalZoom

    By Emily E. Steck

    It's no replacement for consulting a lawyer or an accountant, but LegalZoom is a breeze to use when filing paper work and incorporating your business.

  • DeskTime

    By Emily E. Steck

    Essential for any freelancer looking to expand their business, DeskTime allows you to track employees and time in the most efficient ways possible.

  • Mint

    By Emily E. Steck

    Manage your expenses and money through Mint, a free and fast way to handle all your freelancer finances. It's fantastic for letting you create goals and stick to them.

  • Hootsuite

    By Emily E. Steck

    A social media management system will make scheduling, replying and composing social media posts all the more easier, especially with Hootsuite's variety of streams to keep connected with followers.

  • SaneBox

    By Emily E. Steck

    If you are overwhelmed by the amount of emails waiting for you every day, it's best to use SaneBox, which prioritizes email and summarizes the rest to make email work for you. 

  • Followup.cc

    By Emily E. Steck

    Forget to follow up with Client A? Then use Followup.cc, where you can schedule and organize follow ups to get things done.

  • Gmail Labs

    By Emily E. Steck

    A really great feature that works with your Gmail account to archive all email you reply to. 

  • BufferApp

    By Emily E. Steck

    A simple social media platform perfect for a one-man or one-woman operated company. 

Image Credit: Charis Tsevis

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