Where Small Businesses Affected by the 2017 Hurricane Season Can Turn for Funding

Financing for 2017 Hurricane Season Business Recovery

Businesses in several states and territories are struggling to recover after recent hurricanes. Harvey, Irma, Jose and Nate all had an impact on residents and businesses in the U.S. And for small businesses especially, recovery can be a lengthy process.

But the early stages of recovery can be critical for small businesses. If you wait too long to secure financing and get your business back up and running, it could be too late. In fact, 40% of small businesses never recover after a disaster.

Vernon Tirey, founder and CEO of LeaseQ, an online marketplace for business equipment financing, said in a phone interview with Small Business Trends, The most important thing for any business is their customers. And the longer you delay serving your customers, the more risk there is that your customers will go get that service someplace else. So it’s very important to get back to operating as usual as quickly as possible.

Sources ofFinancing for 2017 Hurricane Season Business Recovery

So if your business was impacted by one of the recent storms, you could very well be looking for financing options to get your business back up and running. Here are some options for you to consider, broken down by state.


Small businesses were impacted by Hurricane Harvey in Texas on August 25 through September 3. and many still are struggling to keep their doors open to customers. Here are funding resources for small businesses recovering from Hurricane Harvey in Texas.

SBA Disaster Loan Assistance

Businesses in certain counties in Texas may be eligible for up to $2 million in loans to aid with disaster recovery efforts. Additionally, the Small Business Development Centers, Women’s Business Centers, Veterans Business Outreach Centers and SCORE offices are available to help businesses with financial counseling and other services.

FEMA Disaster Assistance

FEMA offers a wide range of disaster assistance options for residents in Texas. This isn’t specifically a business related offering. But if you have a home office, the program could help you repair any space or equipment that you use for your business.

Houston Recovers

Houston Recovers offers resources for businesses and individuals trying to recover from Harvey and other disasters. This includes a list of banks in the area offering low interest loans to businesses.

Houston Business Development, Inc.

Houston Business Development, Inc. offers several different types of business loans ranging from $5,000 to $5 million. You can use these loans for equipment, real estate or working capital.


Certain counties in Louisiana were also impacted by Harvey, and then again by Nate in early October. Here are some resources for those businesses affected.

SBA Disaster Loan Assistance

The SBA also has loan assistance available to businesses in the counties affected by Harvey. You can receive up to $2 million to help with the costs associated with recovering and rebuilding.

Louisiana Economic Development Small Business Loan and Guarantee Program

Qualified businesses may receive between $5,000 and $1.5 million in guaranteed loans and financial assistance. Businesses must create or retain at least one job, depending on the amount of the loan.


Parts of Mississippi were adversely affected when Hurricane Nate made landfall in early October. Here are some resources for businesses in those areas.

SBA Disaster Loan Assistance

The SBA also has loan assistance available to businesses in the counties affected by Nate. You can receive up to $2 million to help with the costs associated with recovering and rebuilding.

Small Business Capital Fund of MS

The Small Business Capital Fund of MS provides non-traditional financing options for small businesses. Small businesses can apply for loans for equipment, location rehab or working capital.


Hurricane Nate also made an impact on some counties in Alabama. Here are resources for those businesses.

SBA Disaster Loan Assistance

The SBA also has loan assistance available to businesses in the counties affected by Nate. You can receive up to $2 million to help with the costs associated with recovering and rebuilding.

LiftFund Alabama

LiftFund is a non-profit organization in Birmingham that helps businesses access loans, microloans and training. Small businesses can access loans of up to $1 million through this program.


Hurricane Irma made a huge impact in many parts of Florida from August 30 to September 16. For businesses in the state looking for financing options, check out the list below.

SBA Economic Injury Disaster Loans

FEMA and the SBA recommend that businesses and homeowners in disaster areas in Florida apply for loans through the SBA. Businesses may be eligible for up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster-damaged real estate or other assets.

FEMA Disaster Assistance

FEMA offers a wide range of disaster assistance options for residents in Florida. This isn’t specifically a business related offering. But if you have a home office, the program could help you repair any space or equipment that you might use for your business.

Enterprise Florida Small Business Loan Support Program

Enterprise Florida offers credit and microfinancing options to small businesses needing help with startup costs, equipment, inventory, real estate or working capital. Amounts and rates vary depending on the type of financing your business requires.

LiftFund Florida

LiftFund Florida is a non-profit organization that helps small businesses access capital through business loans up to $1 million, microloans and business training.

Puerto Rico

Hurricanes Irma and Maria made a huge impact on the island of Puerto Rico. With many still struggling to rebuild, here are some resources for businesses.

SBA Disaster Loan Assistance

The SBA also has loan assistance available to businesses in the counties affected by Harvey. You can receive up to $2 million to help with the costs associated with recovering and rebuilding. You can learn more from the San Juan district office.

FEMA Disaster Recovery Assistance

FEMA is offering disaster recovery assistance for individuals and families in Puerto Rico to help with things like debris removal and repairs to bring locations up to safety standards.

Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico

The Government Development Bank for Puerto Rico offers loans and financing options for small and medium sized businesses that qualify. You can apply online or by phone, though amounts and rates vary.

U.S. Virgin Islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands also suffered due to the effects of Hurricanes Irma and Maria in September. Here are resources for those businesses.

SBA Disaster Loan Assistance

The SBA also has loan assistance available to businesses in the counties affected by Harvey. You can receive up to $2 million to help with the costs associated with recovering and rebuilding. You can learn more from the San Juan district office, which also features a location on St. Thomas and St. Croix.

Virgin Islands Small Business Development Center

The Virgin Islands Small Business Development Center also offers resources for small businesses in the area, including advising and support to help small businesses find other funding sources.

Disaster Assistance Photo via Shutterstock

This article, “Where Small Businesses Affected by the 2017 Hurricane Season Can Turn for Funding” was first published on Small Business Trends


Decoding the Facebook Algorithm: A Fully Up-to-Date List of the Algorithm Factors and Changes

If you do Facebook marketing, one thing that you might want to understand is the Facebook algorithm.

The Facebook algorithm helps make sense of the huge number of posts that people and businesses share every day and chooses the posts to show in our News Feed basedon a huge number of factors.

We want to help you understand how your Facebook posts get viewed on Facebook. So we’re collecting all the relevant Facebook algorithm factors, updates, and changes and placing them here in this post for easy reference.

Read on, and see what goes into the complex, fascinating formulas of the Facebook News Feed.

Facebook News Feed Algorithm: How the News Feed Works

Facebook algorithm values

Understanding the Facebook algorithm starts with knowing the core values that Facebook uses to guide their thinking and work. These values can give you a hint of what content will do well or not so well on Facebook.

Here’s a brief summary of Facebook’s News Feed values:

  • Friends and family come first: The main objective of the News Feed is to connect people with their friends and family. So posts from friends and family are prioritized. After those posts, Facebook found that people want their feed to inform and entertain them.
  • A platform for all ideas: Facebook welcomes all ideas while making sure that everyone feels and is safe. They aim to deliver stories that each individual wants to see the most, based on their actions and feedback.
  • Authentic communications: Facebook prioritizes genuine stories overmisleading, sensational, and spammy ones.
  • You control your experience: Individuals know themselves best. So Facebook creates features (such as unfollow and see first) to let people customize their Facebook experience.
  • Constant iteration: Facebook strives to constantly collect feedback and improve the platform.

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The overviewof the Facebook algorithm

So how does Facebook decide what to show in aNews Feed?

Here’s a quick overview of how the Facebook News Feed works, according toAdam Mosseri, VP of Product Management for News Feed:


To make it easy for you to understand the Facebook algorithm, we went through all the (known) changes that Facebook has implemented to its algorithm and came up with a list of factors that we think may determine whether your post shows up or not.

Do this: The Facebook algorithm loves

  • Posts with lots of Likes, comments, and shares
  • Posts that receive a high volume of Likes, comments, or shares in a short time
  • Posts that are Liked, commented on, or shared by one’s friends
  • Link posts
  • Post types that one interacts with often
  • Post types that users seem to prefer more than others (e.g., photo, video, or status update)
  • Videos uploaded to Facebook that receive a large number of views or extended viewing duration
  • Posts that are timely or reference a trending topic
  • Posts from Pages that one interacts with often
  • Posts from Pages with complete profile information
  • Posts from Pages where the fan base overlaps with the fan base of other known high-quality pages

Watch out for: The Facebook algorithm is not too keen on

  • Clickbait
  • Like-baiting
  • Posts that include spammy links
  • Frequently circulated content and repeated posts
  • Text-only status updates from Pages
  • Posts that are frequently hidden or reported (a sign of low quality)
  • Posts that ask for Likes, comments, or shares
  • Posts with unusual engagement patterns (a like-baiting signal)
  • Overly promotional content from Pages-pushing people to buy an app or service, pushing people to enter a contest or sweepstakes, posts that reuse the same text from ads

To help you grow your Facebook Page reach, we’ve written a few guides that you might like:

If you want to dig into the Facebook News Feed algorithm, read on to find out all the relevant changes Facebook has made.

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All relevant changes to the Facebook News Feed algorithm

(Last updated: October2017)

Here’s a summary of all the changes that are relevant to social media marketers, in reverse-chronological order.

If you want to know more about any particular change, just click on the quick link and you’ll get more information about the change and how it may affect your Page.

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August 28, 2017: Pages that repeatedly share false news

Facebook will be blocking Pages that share false news from buying ads on Facebook1.

Facebook found that some Pages had been using Facebook ads to build their following and share false news more widely. To prevent the spread of false news on Facebook, Pages that repeatedly share false news will no longer be allowed to buy Facebook ads (until they stop sharing such news).

The false news will be identified by third-party fact-checkers.

How may this affect your Page?If you share false news on your Page (perhaps unintentionally), you might be blocked from buying ads. It’s great to always check the validity of content before sharing it.

August 17, 2017: Video clickbait

Facebook will be demoting Facebook posts that pretend to be a video2.

Spammers have been tricking people to click on Facebook posts that look like a video but aren’t. These deceptive posts are often videos with just a static image or they feature a false video play button when it’s actually a link.

Here’s an example from Facebook3:

Video clickbait example

How may this affect your Page?Facebook warned that Pages that rely on such practices will see a significant fall in reach while most other Pages won’t be affected much4.

August 2, 2017: Webpage load time

Facebook will be showing fewer stories with links that might take a long time to load5.

It’s frustrating when a website takes a long time to load. Facebook found that As many as 40 percent of website visitors abandon a site after three seconds of delay.

Hence, Facebook is rolling out an update to show more posts with links that load quickly and fewer posts with links that might load slowly, in the News Feed.

How may this affect your Page?If your websites are particularly slow on mobile, you might see a fall in referral traffic from Facebook. Here are some tools and tips for improving your mobile site performance.

May 17, 2017: Clickbait headlines

Facebook is rolling out an update to show fewer posts with clickbait headlines6.

In its continued effort to make Facebook an informed community, Facebook is reducing the number of clickbait stories in the News Feed. This includes posts with headlines that withhold or exaggerate information, such as the following:

  • When She Looked Under Her Couch Cushions And Saw THIS
  • WOW! Ginger tea is the secret to everlasting youth. You’ve GOT to see this!

Posts that link to articles with such headlines will rank lower in the News Feed.

How may this affect your Page?If you depend on such headlines to get a wide reach on Facebook, you will see a fall in your reach. The good news is that once you stop posting such clickbait stories, your Facebook posts will stop being affected by this change.

May 10, 2017: Low-quality webpage experience

Facebook is rolling out an update to show fewer posts and ads that link to websites with low-quality experience7.

To help build an informed community on Facebook, Facebook will be showing fewer posts that are misleading, sensational and spammy. Specifically, they are referring to websites with low-quality experiences, such as the following:

  • Websites thatcontain little substantive content
  • Websites that have a large number of disruptive, shocking, or malicious ads

Posts that linkto such websites will rank lower in the News Feed and might not be allowed to be used as Facebook ads.

How may this affect your Page?You might experience a small increase in traffic if you do not share such content. Otherwise, you’ll likely see a fall in your reach and referral traffic.

January 31, 2017: Authentic and timely stories

Facebook is making two changes to help authentic and timely stories rank better8.

To surface authentic content, Facebook will be analyzing Facebook Pages to see if they have been posting spam or trying to game the News Feed by asking for Likes, comments, or shares. If Facebook finds that a Page’s posts might not be authentic, such as people are often hiding those posts, Facebook will rank those posts lower in the News Feed.

To show people stories at the right time, Facebook will now study how people interact with posts in real time. For example, if there’s an important soccer game going on and many people are talking about it on Facebook, Facebook will show relevant posts higher in the News Feed.

How may this affect your Page?Some Pages might see a tiny increase in their referral traffic. Consider posting timely, relevant posts to get more reach on Facebook.

January 26, 2017: Video completion

Facebook is going to show long videos that people spend time watching to even more people9.

When ranking videos in the News Feed, a factor that Facebook considers is percent completion – the percentage of the video you watched.

Facebook now recognize that it takes more commitment to complete a long video than a short one. So it will now put more weight on the percent completion factor for longer videos.

As an example, if people are, on average, watching 50% of a 30-second video and 50% of a 10-minute video, the 10-minute video will rank better in the News Feed than the 30-second video. That’s because the 10-minute video has to be more engaging than the 30-second video to keep people watching for five minutes (vs 15 seconds).

How may this affect your Page?If you create long, engaging videos, you might see an increase in your videos’ reach. Short videos, as a result, might see a fall in reach.

August 11, 2016: Personally informative stories

Facebook will be showing you more stories that are personally informative to you10.

From its Feed Quality Program, Facebook found that people enjoy stories that are informative to them. Using the patterns that they learned from the program, Facebook will try to identify stories that are informative – usually, if they are related to people’s interests, if they engage people in broader discussions, and if they contain news relevant to them.

Facebook will then combine this new signal with signals of how relevant the story might be to each individual, to predict if they might like it.

How may this affect your Page?Informative content might get more reach on Facebook. From our recent experience, educational and entertaining content performs really well on Facebook.

June 29, 2016: Stories from friends

Facebook will be showing stories from close friends higher up in the News Feed11.

Despite the previous update, people are still worried about missing important updates from their close friends. So Facebook is tweaking the News Feed algorithm again to rank posts from close friends higher up in the News Feed.

How may this affect your Page?You’ll likely see a fall in your Facebook reach and referral traffic as posts from friends will rank better than posts from Pages. Facebook recommends posting content that your audience are likely to share with their friends12.

April 21, 2016: Time spent viewing

Facebook will be ranking articles that it thinks you will spend time reading, higher in the News Feed13.

Facebook learned that the amount of time someone spent reading or watching the content of an article indicates how interesting the article was to them. So Facebook is adding a new ranking factor – how long someone might spend looking at the article.

To keep things fair between short and long articles, Facebook will be looking at the time spent within a threshold.

A smaller change within this update is that Facebook will be showing fewer posts from the same Page together in the News Feed. That’s because people find that repetitive and prefers content from a diverse range of Pages.

How may this affect your Page?There shouldn’t be any significant changes to your Page reach. That said, this reinforces the importance of creating engaging content.

March 1, 2016: Facebook Live

Facebook is more likely to rank Facebook Live videos higher in the News Feed when those videos are live than when they are no longer live14.

Facebook found that People spend more than 3x more time watching a Facebook Live video on average compared to a video that’s no longer live.15 That’s because those videos are more interesting when the event being filmed is happening live than after the event.

How may this affect your Page?You might see that your live videos perform better than your other Facebook videos in terms of reach and engagement. Experiment with Facebook Live videos and see if they work better for you.

February 24, 2016: Facebook Reactions

Facebook recently rolled out Reactions – their supercharged ‘Like’ button – to help businesses better understand how people are responding to their content16.

For a start, when someone uses a Reaction, Facebook will infer they want to see more of that type of post, just like when they Like a post. But this could change17.

In the beginning, it won’t matter if someone likes, wows or sads a post – we will initially use any Reaction similar to a Like to infer that you want to see more of that type of content. Over time we hope to learn how the different Reactions should be weighted differently by News Feed to do a better job of showing everyone the stories they most want to see.

How may this affect your Page?You will get a better sense of how people are reacting to your Facebook posts with the data in your Facebook Page Insights. If you’re interested in learning more about Facebook Reactions, you can find more information here.

December 4, 2015: Surveys

Facebook surveys thousands of people every day to improve the News Feed ranking18.

Besides looking at quantitative signals such as Likes, comments, and shares, Facebook also surveys thousands of people every day to understand whether the News Feed algorithm is showing people the posts they want to see.

Here’s an example of the survey:

Facebook story survey

If a popular post isn’t something that the people surveyed want to see, Facebook will rank that post lower in the future.

How may this affect your Page?This shouldn’t have a significant impact on your Page’s reach as viral posts are usually anomalies. But I believe it’s good to know that Facebook does not only look at Likes, comments, and shares when ranking your posts but also whether people actually want to see those posts. Relevance is key here.

July 9, 2015: Greater user control over the News Feed

Facebook is making it easier for people to adjust and customize their News Feed settings19.

The preferences tab will be more visible and more intuitive, allowing people to find Pages and people to like and follow, and easily selecting to follow/unfollow certain content.


June 29, 2015: Actions on Videos

Facebook now considers more actions on videos while ranking videos in the News Feed20.

Facebook found that many people don’t feel inclined to Like, comment on, or share a video even when they enjoyed the video.

So besides considering whether someone watched the video and for how long, Facebook is now taking into account of more actions such as choosing to turn on the sound, watching the video in full screen, and enabling high definition. These actions indicate that they enjoyed the video.

How may this affect your Page?If your followers like the videos that you post, this update will help them see your videos more often in their News Feed.

June 12, 2015: Time spent on stories

How much time you spend viewing stories becomes a factor that Facebook uses to determine what to show at the top of your News Feed21.

While many people might not Like, comment on, or share a post that they found meaningful, they would likely spend more time on it than other posts. Hence, Facebook is taking this as a signal for ranking Facebook posts.

By understanding what types of content someone prefers, Facebook can surface similar types of content higher up in their News Feed.

How may this affect your Page?Facebook does not expect Pages to see significant changes in terms of reach. But if you want to improve your Facebook reach, making your content engaging could help.

April 21, 2015: Content from friends and Pages

Facebook is rolling out three updates to improve the experience of the News Feed22.

The first is for people who do not have much content to see – maybe because they don’t follow many people or Pages. Facebook used to have a rule that prevents people from seeing multiples stories from the same source in succession. They are now relaxing the rule so that if you reach the end of your News Feed but still want to see more stories, you’ll see more.

The second is to show posts from friends you care about, higher in your News Feed so that you are less likely to miss them. If you read and interact with posts from Pages, you’ll still see them on your News Feed.

The third is to reduce or remove stories about friends liking or commenting on a post, such as this:

Story about friends' comments

How may this affect your Page?You’ll likely see a fall in reach as posts from friends will be prioritized before posts from Pages.

March 5, 2015: Facebook Likes

Facebook to update the way Page likes are counted, removing the likes of memorialized accounts and deactivated accounts23.

How may this affect your Page?It’s possible that you might see a small decline in the overall Likes for your Page once this update occurs.

January 20, 2015: Facebook targets hoaxes

Facebook aims to reduce the number of hoaxes in News Feed with algorithm tweak24.

To reduce the number of posts containing misleading or false news, Facebook has announced that the News Feed algorithm will begin to factor in when many people flag a post as false or choose to delete posts.

Facebook will reduce the reach of such posts and add a warning on the post (without reviewing or removing the post).


How may this affect your Page?Facebook found from testing that people tend not to report satirical content intended to be humorous, or content that is clearly labeled as satire. This type of content should not be affected by this update.25 Only Pages that often post hoaxes and false news will be affected.

January 7, 2015: Video is growing

Facebook has provided some new stats and tips on using video, including these:

  • In just one year, the number of video posts per person has increased 75 percent globally and 94 percent in the US.
  • The amount of video from people and brands in the News Feed has increased 3.6x year-over-year.
  • Since June 2014, Facebook has averaged more than 1 billion video views every day.
  • On average, more than 50 percent of people who come to Facebook every day in the US watch at least one video daily.
  • Seventy-six percent of people in the US who use Facebook say they tend to discover the videos they watch on Facebook.

How may this affect your Page?Facebook could be favoring video posts. Experiment with Facebook videos and see if they perform better than other post types.

November 14, 2014: Overly promotional Page posts

Facebook is rolling out an update to reduce the number of overly promotional posts in the News Feed26.

Facebook heard from people that they want less promotional content on their News Feed and more stories from friends and Pages they like.

After digging into their data, Facebook found that these are the types of posts that people find too promotional:

  • Posts that solely push people to buy a product or install an app
  • Posts that push people to enter promotions and sweepstakes with no real context
  • Posts that reuse the exact same content from ads

Here’s an example:

Overly promotional post

How may this affect your Page?Pages that often post such content will see a significant fall in their reach over time. To grow your reach, Facebook recommends posting relevant and high-quality content27.

September 18, 2014: When people Like and comment

Facebook will be looking at when people are Liking, commenting, and sharing28.

Facebook used to only look at the total number of Likes on a post when ranking it in the News Feed. Now, Facebook will also look at the rate at which people are Liking, commentingon, and sharing a post.

If people are engaging with the post right after it is posted, and not as much a few hours later, this suggests that the post was most interesting at the time it was posted, but potentially less interesting at a later date. Based on this signal it is more likely to appear higher in News Feed earlier on and lower at a later date.

How may this affect your Page?The reach of your posts isn’t just determined by the number of Likes they get but also by the rate at which people are interacting with it. Posts that consistently receive a good amount of engagement will be shown to more people on Facebook.

September 11, 2014: Offensive or inappropriate ads

Facebook stops showing ads that are offensive or inappropriate29.

When people hide ads in their News Feed, Facebook takes it as a signal that others might not want to see them, too, and show them to fewer people30.

Now, Facebook is also asking people why they hid the ads. If it’s because the ad is offensive or inappropriate, Facebook will stop showing the ad.

How may this affect your Page?If someone reported your ad to be offensive or inappropriate, you might see a significant fall in the reach of the ad.

August 25, 2014: Bounce rate

Facebook will be looking at bounce rate to determine if an article is using a clickbait headline31.

If someone clicks on an article and returns to Facebook immediately (or bounce), it might mean that they didn’t find what they were expecting. This is often because the article is using a clickbait headline. Facebook will be using this signal when ranking the article in the News Feed.

In addition, Facebook will also be monitoring if people are Liking, commenting on, or sharing the article after they click on it. If few people are, it’s likely that the article is not valuable, relevant, or meaningful. Facebook will then rank it lower in the News Feed.

Facebook will also be ranking posts with a link preview higher in the News Feed than posts with a link just in the caption – as the link preview shows more information about the article.

Link preview example

How may this affect your Page?Facebook found that posts with link preview received twice as many clicks compared to links embedded in photo captions. Experiment to see if that applies to the content you’re sharing.

June 23, 2014: Better videos

Facebook will now be able to understand (and rank) videos uploaded directly to Facebook better32.

For videos that are uploaded to Facebook directly, Facebook is now able to know whether someone has watched it and for how long. It seems that they are unable to do that for links to YouTube (or other video sites) videos.

Having this new information will allow Facebook to rank Facebook videos better. Early tests have shown that people are watching more videos that are relevant to them.

How may this affect your Page?Videos you upload directly to Facebook will likely perform better than links to videos on other sites such as YouTube. This was a mistake that we had been making for a while.

September 11, 2014: Like-baiting

Facebook will show fewer posts that explicitly ask for Likes, comments, or shares33.

Some Pages try to game the News Feed algorithm by explicitly asking for Likes, comments, and shares. Here’s an example:


As people have reported that such posts are less relevant than posts with asimilar amount of engagement, Facebook will be ranking these posts lower in the News Feed.

How may this affect your Page?According to Facebook, This update will not impact Pages that are genuinely trying to encourage discussion among their fans, and focuses initially on Pages that frequently post explicitly asking for Likes, Comments and Shares.34

August 23, 2013: High-quality content

Facebook has developed a new algorithm to find and show high-quality content to users35.

To build the algorithm, Facebook surveyed thousands of people and put the results into a machine learning system. Here are some of the questions they asked:

  • Is this timely and relevant content?
  • Is this content from a source you would trust?
  • Would you share it with friends or recommend it to others?
  • Is the content genuinely interesting to you or is it trying to game News Feed distribution? (e.g. asking for people to like the content)
  • Would you call this a low quality post or meme?
  • Would you complain about seeing this content in your News Feed?

The algorithm also uses thousand other factors to determine if a post is a high-quality content. Some of these factors include how frequently content from a certain Page that is reported as low quality (e.g. hiding a Page post), how complete the Page profile is, and whether the fan base for a particular Page overlaps with the fan base for other known high quality Pages36.

How may this affect your Page?Pages that are seeing good engagement on their posts might see an increase in their reach. Here are some tips from Facebook37:

– Make your posts timely and relevant

– Build credibility and trust with your audience

– Ask yourself, Would people share this with their friends or recommend it to others?

– Think about, Would my audience want to see this in their News Feeds?

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Could you help us make this resource more complete?

We’d love your help in tracking any changes and factors to the Facebook News Feed so that this post can be as complete as possible.

Is there anything that we’ve missed?

Is there any news that came out recently that we should add?

Let us know by leaving a comment on this post or <a href="

A huge chunk of men who rule corporate America would prefer if everyone focused less on diversity

Mad MenMad Men / Facebook

Corporate America is still run by mostly white, old men. According to a new survey, they’re not too bothered about the lack of diversity.

Nearly athird of the men surveyed recently by PwC would prefer if less attention was paid to diversity. Thirty-one percent of men said there istoo much focus on it, compared to 4% of women.

The survey interviewed 866 US public company board members, of which 14% were women a representative cross section, according to PwC.

Among other findings:

  • When asked whether gender diversity was “very important,” only 35% of men said soversus68% of women.
  • When asked whether racial diversity was “very important,” only 20% of men said so, compared to 42% of women.
  • Eighty percent of women said that increasing diversity was happening too slowly, compared to 33% of men.

On every question asked about the importance of diversity, women were far more likely to say that different types of diversity (by age, socioeconomic class, race, etc.) are important. For instance, when it comes to racial diversity on boards, 74% of women but only 26% of men say it’s “very important.”The chart below goes into the details.

Screen Shot 2017 10 13 at 10.22.18 AMPWC

A big reason for the disparity is that most of the people running these boards are older men who grew up in a different social climate,said Paula Loop, leader of the Governance Insights Center at PwC.

Only 4% of directors at S&P 500 boards are under age 50, and they’re overwhelmingly men, per the report.

“You’re seeing a lag in the environment these people worked in,”Loop told Business Insider. “They’re continuing to feel that it’s not missing from their board groups.”

One bright spot, according to Loop: men seem to have slightly improved their views on gender diversity since the survey last year. That might be due to pressure from institutional investors who have made gender diversity a hot topic, she said.

NOW WATCH: We talked to a UBS behavioral finance specialist about how emotions get the best of even the most experienced investors

8 Tips to Quickly Master Social Media For Businesses & Entrepreneurs [SSM065]

Much has been written on the Buffer Blog about social media strategy.

In the last month alone, we’ve covered (in great detail) everything from Facebook Messenger marketing andmanaging multiple social media accountsto creating remarkable content and the rise of micro-influencers.

One thing that often gets overlooked in all of the detail is a more general approach to social media for businesses and entrepreneurs.

What should businesses be thinking about? What are long-term trends that businesses can feel good about investing in? What makes for truly good social media content?

How to listen: iTunes | Google Play| SoundCloud | Stitcher | RSS

In episode #65 of The Science of Social Media, hosts Brian Peters and Hailley Griffis cover successful social media for businesses and entrepreneurs. After chatting with hundreds of businesses, we’ve dwindled it down to eight super important social media tips that businesses and entrepreneurs should consider on their way to social media success.

Let’s dive in!

8 Tips to Quickly Master Social Media for Businesses and Entrepreneurs

8 Social Media Tips for Businesses and Entrepreneurs

1. Make a commitment to social media

The first thing that businesses and entrepreneurs can do to find success is make a commitment to social media.

Like any other form of marketing, social media for businessescan be a real challenge. It’s hard to grow an audience, create great content, and increase engagement. All too often we see brands giving up on social media after just a few months.

We’ve found that it takes eight months to one year to really get the hang of social. Not only to get a consistent content stream going, but to figure out what your audience resonates with and what they don’t.

It all starts with planning. Create a social media strategy and write it down in order to hold your business accountable. Your strategy should include a basic company mission statement, content plan and goals. And most importantly, a powerful statement on why people would follow you on social media, what kind of content you plan on creating and posting, and what you hope to achieve.

The first thing that businesses can do to find success is make a commitment to social media.

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2. Show off your personality

The second social media tip for businesses and entrepreneurs is to always (authentically) be you on social media.

Take a second to think about the brands that you follow on social media. What makes them special? What makes you follow them?

Chances are that there is something special about the content they post or the way in which they post it. We’re guessing they have a personality and aren’t just brand robots pushing out content.

Creating a great social media presence isn’t only about showing the value of your product or service to your audience. It’s about connection and experiences. The best brands out there share a common point of view with their fans.

One of our favorite examples of this idea in action is Merriam Webster Dictionary. They’re a dictionary and they’re seeing tremendous success on social media.

Success on social isn’t about showing off your product. It’s about connection and experiences.

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3. Listen to customers rather than promote

Tip #3 is that great social media programs are built around listening to customers, not promoting to them.

The way we like to think about it is that social media offers an incredible, open-ended platform that businesses can use to communicate and engage with customers. That’s why we recommend using it that way!

Social media is becoming a customer service platform and people are coming to expect it. The tricky part is, the better you get at social the more engagement you’ll get, and in turn, the more comments. So be prepared for an influx of love from your fans!

The other side is that your customers are the best source of inspiration for content. Lots of businesses are sitting on a never-ending gold mine of content ideas by simply looking at their frequently asked questions, or what people are asking on social media. If you’re stuck on what to post, look to your customers first for ideas before anything else.

You can also listen to competitor’s customers as well, as funny as that sounds. Tools like Twitter Lists, BuzzSumo, Facebook Pages to Watch, Google Keyword Planner, and YouTube are all great places to find what’s working in your industry.

Great social media programs are built around listening to customers, not promoting to them.

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4. Focus your efforts on a select networks

Social media networks are like shiny new objects. We want to be everywhere at once and try everything because we’re sure that this network will be the one for us. But the fact is we’re all strapped for resources. So if you try to focus on lots of social networks then you’re setting yourself up for a long road ahead.

We tried! At one time we were everywhere. We were on all of the standard networks along with lesser-known networks like Anchor, Beme, Tumblr, and Whale. What we found was that we were getting average results across the board. Not to mention it was taking full days to post content to each platform. It wasn’t sustainable.

It may seem counterintuitive, but focusing all your efforts on the two to three platforms which give you the best return on investment. Crafting content unique to each platform is critical.

For example, let’s say we write a blog post about social media marketing. Writing the copy that will get attention and clicks on LinkedIn is much different than what works on Facebook, which is dramatically different than what works on Instagram, Snapchat, or Twitter.

It’s an obsession-like focus on a particular platform that allows you to hone in on successful tactics.

Social media networks are like shiny new objects. Businesses want to be everywhere at once!

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5. Remember that success follows passion

Our last tip on the strategy side of social media for businesses and entrepreneurs is to remember that passion helps generate truly great and memorable content.

Success on social media is a long road. As we mentioned before, it took us minimum eight months of hard work to get to a point where we felt good about our social program.

Imagine if those 8 months were filled with posting content that we didn’t care about!

The only way to ensure long term commitment and that social media doesn’t become a burden is to follow your passion. The nice thing about social media is that your content doesn’t have to be directly related to your brand or industry. Meaning it doesn’t have to be what everyone else is doing.

We suggest that as business owners you pick a topic that they love and are truly passionate about.

Success follows passion on social media. Post content you’re passionate about to avoid burnout.

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6. Experiment with video marketing

Content Ideas:

Video marketing is one of the most talked about topics in social media right now and so we’d love to share a few strategies that you can use to create awesome video content.

Many marketers tell us that they struggle with what to create video about. The best solution we have for you when it comes to what is to start with what works. Sort your blog content in order of most traffic and create videos around those topics.

Again, use Facebook Pages to Watch to figure out what kinds of videos your competitors are making and generate topic ideas based off of that. Use your customers as resources. Look outside of your specific industry to your favorite brands. The key is to start with what works and gain some confidence.


In terms of video best-practices, there are some scientific factors that people are more likely to interact with. One is video length. On Facebook, for example, the highest engaging videos are between 60-90 seconds. The second highest are between 30-60 seconds. Same holds true for Twitter. So keep your videos short and to the point. Save the best for first, if you will.

If you’re going to feature a person (or group of people) in your video, you’ll need a good lavalier microphone, natural light from a window, and a tripod. Sound, lighting, and camera stability are key in creating a quality video.

If animated or text-only video are more your style (which we do a lot here at Buffer) all you’ll need is great resource for stock video, quality background music, and a video editor. My two must-have sites for stock video are Pexels and VidevoandAnimoto is our go-to video editor.

There’s never been a better time to get started with video than right now on social media.

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7. Get the most out of your content

One of the most key aspects in social media marketing mastery is to get the most out of your content.

Businesses and entrepreneurs have so many things going on at once that it can be easy to forget that it’s not always necessary to continuously send out brand new content to be successful.

From what we’ve seen at Buffer, the more you can repurpose and make your content feel fresh in a variety of ways the less content you’ll actually have to put out and the more success you’ll have.

Experiment with creating shareable graphics throughout the post that people can use on Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn. You can also create a series ofInstagram Stories to help promote the post. Or you might try creating a short video for Facebook summarizing the post (or even a more in-depth YouTube video!)

Every piece of content you create should have at least 2-3 other pieces of shareable content to accompany it. That way if the link doesn’t resonate then the video might. Or if the video falls short, maybe it makes for good Instagram Stories.

Every piece of content you create should have at least 2-3 shareable assets for social media.

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8. Boost organic content to a targeted audience

What’s great about social media for businesses is that you don’t have to be an expert in order to see success with advertising.

Unless you have a team running your social ads or you’re able to invest a lot of time running experiments, you could end up wasting a lot of money on paid advertising.

The way we like to think about it is that organic social media posting (traditional posting) is the perfect testing ground for paid ads and boosted posts. In other words, you’re using organic reach to determine what posts you should put money behind.

The best part is that you can target specific users within many of the social platform ad managers.

For example, let’s say your goal is traffic to your website and you’ve identified a top performing post.

You can create an audience that is most likely to also enjoy that post. That could be a Lookalike Audience that is similar to your website visitors. Or maybe it’s an audience who has shown interest in your competitors. It also could be an audience based on demographics like location, age, or mobile device type.

You can then exclude traffic to your website in order to eliminate people who are already familiar with your brand.

You don’t have to be an expert in order to see success with social media advertising.

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More Podcast Episodes We Recommend

8 Social Media Tips for Businesses and Entrepreneurs

How to Say Hello to Us

We would all love to say hello to you on social media especially Twitter!

Thanks for listening! Feel free to connect with our team atBuffer on Twitter, Buffer on Facebook, our Podcast Homepage, or with the hashtag #bufferpodcast.

Enjoy the show? It’d mean the world to us if you’d be up for giving us a rating and review on iTunes!

About the Show

The Science of Social Media is your weekly sandbox for social media stories, insights, experimentation, and inspiration. Every Monday (and sometimes more) we share the most cutting-edge social media marketing strategies from brands and influencers in every industry. If you’re a social media team of one, business owner, marketer, or someone simply interested in social media marketing, you’re sure to find something useful in each and every episode. It’s our hope that you’ll join our 10,000+ weekly iTunes listeners and rock your social media channels as a result!

The Science of Social Media is proudly made by the Buffer team. Feel free to get in touch with us for any thoughts, ideas, or feedback.

U.S. Ranks 5th Among Cashless Countries, Is Your Business Ready for the Cashless Trend?

U.S. Ranks 5th Among Cashless Countries -- 3 Credit Cards for Every American

Across the world, cashless culture is now the new normal and the United States is among the top countries to have embraced it.

Data shared by Forex bonus provider ForexBonuses shows there are nearly three credit cards for every person in the U.S. The country ranks fifth among cashless countries.

Potential for Rank Improvement

For years, credit cards have been a part of the American way of life. Yet the country lags behind Canada, Sweden, U.K. and France in cashless transactions. The reason? Possibly, the reluctance of some businesses in allowing customers to pay in plastic.

Because of this, 47 percent of U.S. payments are still made with cash. In comparison, 59 percent of all Swedish consumer transactions are completed through non-cash methods.

Cashless Countries Ahead of the U.S.

Thanks to the popularity of cashless payment methods, 47 percent of consumers in the U.K. are using alternative payments for most transactions. France has also adopted the cashless trend, with 39 percent of cards already having contactless technology.

But it’s Canada that’s leading this popular trend. There are two credit cards for every person living in the country, which explains the popularity of cashless payment.

Offer Cashless Options to Keep Up with Consumers

With some experts predicting completely cashless societies to emerge as soon as 2022, it’s important for businesses to prepare themselves.

Mobile payment platforms, for example, are expected to play a major role in future transactions. Businesses must understand how they can leverage these platforms to gain an edge.

Today, a large number of businesses still mostly or only accept cash. To stay relevant in the near-future, such businesses must rethink their strategies.

To learn more about cashless countries, check out the infographic below:

U.S. Ranks 5th Among Cashless Countries -- 3 Credit Cards for Every American.

Image: ForexBonuses

This article, “U.S. Ranks 5th Among Cashless Countries, Is Your Business Ready for the Cashless Trend?” was first published on Small Business Trends