Gulf Coast Local Blog


Algorithms: How Each Social Platform Keeps You Engaged

The social media marketing discussion is now dominated by algorithms – almost everywhere you engage, within almost every platform you use, machine learning and data sorting is used to decide what it is you see.

The evolution of social algorithms has, no doubt, made things harder for social marketers. The development of algorithms follows much the same progression as the technical elements of SEO – in order to show searches the most relevant responses to user queries and weed out spammers, Google has had to constantly update its algorithm to stay one step ahead.


Now social platforms are in much the same position, which adds a more complex, technical element to the social marketing process.

With this in mind, what do you need to know to ensure you’re on top of the latest social algorithm shifts, and how can you best prepare yourself, and understand the focus of each platform to maximize your business page performance?

Here’s a quick overview of the current state of each platform’s algorithm, based on what I’ve studied of their workings.


The most influential social algorithm is Facebook’s. The Social Network was the first to implement an algorithm feed, in response to the flood of spammy posts and junk which had taken over the app as its popularity grew.

Facebook’s algorithm aims to show you the content you’re most likely to engage with – though obviously there’s a lot more to it than that.

To best understand Facebook’s algorithm, you first need to get your head around the basic engagement equation Facebook uses.

Facebook’s News Feed chief, Adam Mosseri, explained this in several webinars, conferences and online publications last year, comparing their selection process to choosing a meal for a friend at a restaurant:


This process, says Mosseri, is essentially utilizing an algorithm within your own head – Facebook’s system simply transfers these though processes to a machine, shifting the same core elements into more technical factors – Inventory, Signals, Predictions and Scores.

Here’s the same calculations with Facebook actions replacing restaurant options:

Facebook rates each post based on your individual usage patterns, which, along with a range of other measures, enable it to come up with a score for each post. That score then dictates where each will appear in your feed.

Sound confusing? Yes, it is. These algorithms change constantly so studying and keeping up with the social channel’s updates are crucial to any business social media marketing plan. In basic terms, Facebook measures the likelihood that you’re going to take a particular action which their data suggests is the most engaging, then shows each story to you based on that probability.


Twitter’s algorithm is less advanced than Facebook’s, but they are putting increased focus on their machine learning efforts to boost engagement.

Users were initially outraged that Twitter would even consider changing to an algorithm, but the data has since shown that the system has helped the platform boost performance – as algorithms have on virtually every platform.

Twitter’s main objective with their algorithm is to show you more content you may be interested in – similar to Facebook, though Twitter is more about showing it to you in addition to the other tweets you might see, as opposed to “instead of”.

Even with an algorithm in place, Twitter can still show you almost every tweet, due to the real time nature of the feed. Nowadays, when you first login into Twitter, you’ll see tweets you may have missed, which are basically the most popular tweets from the people you follow. Twitter has also been working to boost engagement by showing you tweets that people you follow have liked, too.


Instagram is one of the hottest social platforms at the moment for social engagement.  They have now also implemented a Facebook-style algorithm.  Facebook actually owns both platforms now, so the algorithms are almost exactly the same now. Like Facebook, Instagram’s algorithm is based on your likelihood to engage.


Like Twitter, LinkedIn’s algorithm is not as advanced as Facebook’s.  A good example of how LinkedIn’s feed algorithm works is their comment sorting tool – LinkedIn recently published an update on how comments are displayed on each post, based on engagement.

In my opinion, and the opinion of many other LinkedIn users, their algorithm needs some work.  You’ll often see posts from weeks ago in your feed but they are refining their data, and working to show you more relevant content, slowly but surely.


The last platform has a constantly evolving algorithm to uncover more relevant Pin matches. Their goal is to keep you searching and their system has been upgraded from its initial matching efforts to better highlight relevant content.

Do you have ideas of how these social platforms might improve their algorithms in the future? Tell us in the comments!


Why Your Business Needs A Paid Facebook Ad Budget

Author: Stephanie May - 


Phillip Long - CISSP, CEO of BIS Technology Group, along with his team of marketing and information technology experts, will walk you through an overview of  what your business should be doing to protect your data and plan your digital marketing strategies.

About BIS Technology Group

BIS Technology Group is the technology leader on the Gulf Coast and is comprised of four divisions: Information Technology, Web Design & Digital Marketing,  Office Equipment and Business Consulting. Together these divisions help local businesses exceed expectations and allow them to group to their full potential while minimizing risks. To learn more about BIS Technology Group, visit

You may reach out to us at:
Phone: 251-405-2527


Top 4 Tips for Business to Business Social Media Marketing
social media marketing B2B

Facebook is a popular way for companies to market their products and services to consumers like ourselves. In the past, it hasn’t been as helpful for businesses looking to market to other businesses. However, that’s no longer the case. Facebook is now proving itself to be a successful marketing tool for business-to-business (B2B) marketing.


Largely because of social media, business owners are now basing their business purchase decisions off what their friends are recommending and what reviews they read online. 

LinkedIn has long been the most effective platform for businesses to market on social media to other companies. However, Facebook has over 1.4 billion monthly users allowing businesses to get their message in front of the right audience through paid advertising.

Businesses are five times more likely to engage with a sales rep who shares a mutual connection. This is one reason why it’s important not to ignore Facebook. We have seen success with this social media strategy with our clients in Mobile, AL.

How does all this magic happen? Here are the top four tips to make business to business (B2B) social media marketing work on Facebook:

1. Expand your audience.
Reach past your current audience through advertising on Facebook and targeting people that meet certain qualifications. 

2. Target work categories.
Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram advertising allows you to go past general demographics to drill down to specific interests, job titles and income levels.

3. Offer incentives for lead generation.
Using ads to target the audience you want, you can bring prospects to your website looking for access to the content you’re offering. By directing them to a landing page that asks them for their email address, you’re able to generate leads by giving them access to a free trial of your product or service, or access to an ebook or webinar.

4. Create custom audiences.

Custom audiences can be set up in Facebook by:

Importing a list of emails from your contact database.
Upselling to customers that purchased a particular item or service (making recommendations). 
Retargeting lost customers by putting a Facebook pixel on a certain web page to track if users completed your call to action. If they didn’t reach the ‘Thank you for signing up/purchasing’ page, then you can retarget your ads to those who missed out.

Even if your business or industry is what you would consider ‘boring’, a social media presence on Facebook can: 

Increase awareness, connections and leads.
Set you apart from your competitors.
Strengthen your company’s credibility.
Keep your business’ name at the top of potential customers’ minds.  

BIS Designs is an internet marketing company serving the Mobile, Alabama area. Our social media marketing and search engine optimization specialists have years of experience in targeting custom audiences for the B2B community and would welcome the opportunity to help your business grow.

Contact us for a complimentary marketing evaluation and let’s get your business back on track!



August Newsletter: Here Are 3 Ways LinkedIn Can Generate New Business

 Read Our August 2016 Newsletter Here!

From this month's newsletter, learn:

  • 3 Ways You Can Generate New Business with LinkedIn
  • The Ultimate Guide to Understanding Managed Services (IT)
  • Would You Bet the Farm That Your Backups Are Safe?
  • Lower Your Business Costs by Establishing a Print Policy

  • How to Build Raving Fans

  • Imagine if You Owned the Domain Rights to Google - Even for 60 Seconds

  • Is the Internet of Things a "Clear And Present Danger?"

Newsletter: 10 Things You Need to Do Now to Prevent Costly Data Disasters

 Read Our May 2016 Newsletter Here!

LinkedIn Marketing in Mobile, AL

From this month's newsletter, learn:

  • 10 Things You Need to Do Now to Prevent Costly Data Disasters
  • Laptop, Tablet...Or 2-in-1
  • 6 LinkedIn Marketing Tips to Attract More Clients
  • Calculating the Cost of Downtime

  • Access Your Emails & Calendar Directly from Your Printer

  • Conquering Connecting


6 LinkedIn Marketing Strategies to Attract More Clients Today

Has your business been struggling to find new clients? Consider LinkedIn. This powerful professional networking site has proven to be very effective in generating qualified leads and prospective customers. 

Maybe you’ve tried LinkedIn, but you’re not getting the results you want. Well, you’re not alone. Business owners often tell us they know they are not leveraging this platform’s opportunities to yield the fullest result.

But…you can. What if I told you that if you spent a little bit of dedicated time on LinkedIn each week, you could start receiving a continuous flow of qualified leads? Well, that’s just the case with these five basic LinkedIn strategies that you can implement today to start seeing results immediately. 

Sign up here for our next Executive Business Luncheon on May 19th, 2016, at Wintzell’s Oyster House in Fairhope, Alabama, to learn more about how to develop and implement a successful digital marketing plan to increase your company’s revenue.

Strategy #1: Create a professional profile.

When we meet with our social media marketing clients, the first step is to understand their business goals, their target audience and their unique market differentiators. Once these are defined, we cater their business profile on LinkedIn to those target audience decision makers. Here are some helpful tips to assist in making your profile stand out:

Make sure that your profile is professional, search-optimized, and most of all, client-focused and written to get the attention of the prospective decision maker. 

If you’re the owner of your business, list your title as CEO, President or something in that realm. Other CEOs often want to associate with CEOs, not “Business Development” people.  

Be specific. You must have it clearly spelled out who you are, who you help, and how you can help them to avoid confusion for those who land on your profile.

Get to the point fast in your “Summary”. Forget telling stories about how you used to play with computers when you were two. It’s ok to tell an origin story, but do that after you tell me what you can do now.

Try to throw in a little creativity and personality into your profile where appropriate to make it the least boring as possible. 

Strategy #2: Connect with everyone you know (or have known in the past).  

LinkedIn is all about business and personal connections. You never know where that next connection is going to come from or where someone in your past might lead to your next big deal.  Here are a couple tips to maximize your efforts: 

Send a personal message along with every request to connect with that person.  Unless you’re close friends, don’t assume that someone will remember who you are. Gently remind them and most people will connect with you. 

Never miss a chance to connect. Build up your contacts by reaching out to your second and third level connections. When you meet someone online or off, make sure you follow up with a connection request while you are still fresh on their mind.

Strategy #3: Identify prospects.

Join as many relevant groups as you can find. Look for your college alumni groups, groups from previous jobs, social groups, industry groups, and anything else you can find. 
Most LinkedIn users rely on groups to stay abreast on industry news, but they can also be an excellent source for new sales leads by:

Giving insight into a prospective company’s current situation through reading their comments in the group activity.
Allowing you access to more personal details of the LinkedIn user, whereas unless you already have a first level connection, you usually cannot see their full name.
Creating an opportunity and reason to connect, as one of the options available when sending a connection request is that you both belong in a group together.

You can also use the LinkedIn Advanced Search tool to find prospects who have job titles within your target audience such as: CEO, Accountant, VP Sales, Marketing Director, HR Specialist, etc. 

This search can be performed with or without selecting specific groups to search in.
Just type in your keywords (the job title) under the Advanced People Search then select 2nd connection under Relationship, then check the group you wish to search in.
LinkedIn Advanced Search

The Advanced Search Tool can also be used to search for companies within a specific area. Once the results list returns results, you can choose to follow those organizations and/or research their company pages to find out who their decision makers are.

Strategy #4:  Use InMail to connect with those hard to reach senior decision makers.  

LinkedIn allows you to send an InMail to anyone using LinkedIn without having to request a connection first, and ensures that it goes straight to their inbox. However, they are only available on paid accounts but with the Sales Navigator Professional premium plan, you’re able to: 

Send 15 InMail messages a month
See who’s viewed your profile
Have an unlimited profile search ability 
Hone in on the decision makers and create custom lead lists with advanced search filters 
Get lead recommendations able to be saved to a list

*As a side note, to avoid the costly InMail messaging options, if you do not already have a premium account and are not able to get one anytime soon, when you join a group, you are able to send 15 free messages per month instead of expensive InMails to people that share the same LinkedIn Groups as you.

Strategy #5: Write LinkedIn recommendations for your fellow colleagues.

LinkedIn’s recommendations are incredibly powerful when it comes to hooking your dream job.  The more you can obtain from different colleagues, the better.  With permission of course, you can take these testimonials outside of LinkedIn to be used on your website or other marketing materials. More often than not, when you write a recommendation for someone, they recommend you back (LinkedIn also sends them a reminder).

Strategy #6: Research and connect with Joint Venture and referral partners. 

Start by making a list of people that are a natural fit for your company. Depending on your industry, this could be a variety of local companies that interact with the same type of target audience clientele you do.

As explained above in the Identify Prospects section, once you have your list, start plugging in keywords in the “People or Company Search” on LinkedIn.  

Whenever you find someone on LinkedIn who appears to be a potential partner, you can ask to connect with them by saying something like this in the connect request: 

“Hey ‘Firstname’, I just happened upon you here in LinkedIn. We happen to both be friends with <insert mutual 1st connection>. I’m the CEO over here at ‘YourCompanyName’ and we often find the need to refer out business to people such as yourself. I’m not sure if you’re taking on any new business at this time, but figured that I’d introduce myself and connect with you here on LinkedIn in case you are. -­‐’YourName’.”

The Boolean search abilities on LinkedIn are staggering. Most people do not realize how targeted they can actually make their search criteria. You can read this Tip Sheet from LinkedIn here on how to use modifiers like quotes, parenthesis, AND, OR, and NOT.

We hope this breaks down some of the mystery behind how LinkedIn works for business prospecting. The strategies outlined here are tactics we employ with our clients when they opt in for the LinkedIn Prospecting services we provide. We also provide several different social media marketing and search engine optimization packages. To learn more about how to develop and implement a successful digital marketing plan to increase your company’s revenue, sign up here for our Executive Business Luncheon on May 19th, 2016, in Fairhope, Alabama at Wintzell’s Oyster House.




How to improve your social media holiday campaign

Holiday marketing campaigns are a great way to boost sales and increase exposure. And social media plays a big part in making your holiday campaign a success or a flop. As we have preached lately, social media is a powerful player in today’s marketing sphere. People flock to social media during the holidays to review products, research companies and read reviews before buying gifts.  If you’re not using social to help market your brand or product, you aren’t helping your business grow to the best of its ability.

As of this year, almost one-third of shoppers made purchase decisions based directly on social media interactions, according to a MarketLive survey. And these direct purchase decisions based on social media experiences are expected to continue growing substantially.

But just how can you incorporate your social media marketing to your holiday campaigns? Well, for starters you need to remember to ALWAYS incorporate any marketing campaigns into your social media marketing. Social is where you can organically spread the word about your brand and product and encourage your followers to share your campaign with their friends.

Stemming off that point, when developing your holiday campaign for social media, make sure that your campaign is responsive. What does that means? It means that your campaign is accessible on both mobile devices AND desktop. As we have predicted for 2016, mobile is overtaking desktop at an unbelievable speed, and soon will be the main source of internet surfing, putting desktop computers in the dust.

So, make your campaign available on both mobile and desktop computers. Along with this, many social media channels have a “buy” button now that enables users to simply click on their Facebook or Twitter page to buy a product. This is extremely useful because you are taking the product straight to them. Alleviating the hassle of going on your website to shop gives the user a much easier shopping experience- straight from social media.

Some handy social media campaigns:

Content-generated contests and giveaway

Many users enjoy seeing user-generated content. This means developing campaigns that make use of user photos, reviews and voting contests. By allowing users to share their own content, it creates a deeper sense of value for the campaign.

Loyalty Discounts

As people get on social media to research products, brands and reviews, reward your followers by giving them an exclusive social media discount or deal for following your brand on your social channels.

Social media advertising

Facebook offers extensive advertising services to help promote your brand and target your audience, but Facebook is not the only platform offering advertising services. Twitter and LinkedIn now have paid advertising that can help expand your campaign’s reach.


Time-Bound Holiday Campaigns

By creating a sense of urgency and exclusiveness, making a campaign that is only advertised on social media for a short time helps hype customers up to your deal. Also, offering a limited number of a product and “holiday discount” helps incite motivation to participate in your campaign.

Make sure your campaign is holiday-themed

This may sound obvious to some, but it’s a good reminder that if you want to attract holiday shoppers, you should make your campaign look and feel like a holiday offer.

There are plenty of ideas on the internet of good holiday campaigns, but the suggestions listed above are tried-and-true campaign ideas.



As marketers are all getting ready for the holiday deal dash, remember to find a unique selling point to your campaign. Focus on your target audience and figure out what kind of campaign may suit them best. Not all campaigns are created equal.

Something for all social media marketing campaigns to remember to do is to invoke engagement. Whether it is commenting on campaign post, or liking your page, make sure you are asking your followers to interact with your page somehow. This helps expand your post reach, which is now moderated by the new Facebook algorithm. Be the judge of how much you ask your followers to do though. If you give them a million tasks to complete before they are eligible for your giveaway/discount that may discourage them from entering at all.

Make sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn! And for more helpful hints, read our other blog posts!