Category Archives: Blog With BEB

Facebook Partner Categories – The Walking Dead

Partner Categories, within the Facebook advertising world, are the new walking dead and will be eliminated from the platform on August 15, 2018.

Partner Categories are some of the demographics available when creating targeted audiences for FB Ads.  These demographics are derived from third-party data.  The third-party partners are the “big guns” which include Acxiom, Epsilon, Experian, Oracle Data Cloud, and Quantium; the data giants of today.  They help provide game-changing personal information within the paid ads stage such as household income, parents with children [pick the age], or what kind of car your audience drives.  

Depending on the targeting options you select, soon  you won’t see leading indicators such as audience size and potential reach.

We’ll keep you posted on how this change affects your paid advertising on Instagram and Facebook as it unfolds.

 

 

 

Twitter Algorithm Defined

Up until 2015, the Twitter timeline displayed tweets in reverse-chronological order.

Attempting to improve the Twitter experience, Twitter has gradually introduced changes to how they show tweets on your timeline.

Keep in mind that like all other popular social media platforms, the algorithm is in a constant state of change.  As the timeline algorithm changes have helped to increase their key metrics, you can count on Twitter to continue to tweak its algorithms on (at least) a weekly basis.  It also seems highly unlikely that Twitter will go the same path as Facebook and create a 100% algorithmic timeline as Twitter CEO (Jack Dorsey) says that the platform will remain “Live and Real-Time”.

The Twitter timeline consists of three steps:

  1. Ranked Tweets
  2. “In Case You Missed It” Tweets
  3. Reverse Chronological Order Tweets

The algorithm studies the tweets from accounts you follow and gives each of them a relevance score based on several factors such as:

  • The tweet: Factors that include recency, presence of images or video, and engagement such as retweets, clicks, favorites, and time spent reading a tweet are elements used for ranking
  • The author: Past interactions with a tweet’s author, the strength of your connection to them, and the origin of your relationship are also factors in the ranking recipe
  • The User: How often and how heavily you use twitter, and the tweets you engage with are part of the ranking equation as well

Twitter places the tweets it has determined to be of interest to you in the first two buckets; Ranked Tweets and “In Case You Missed It“ followed by real-time, reverse chronologically ordered tweets.

Twitter’s intent is to give you access to the best tweets for you at a first glance before delving into the lengthier time-ordered sections.

 

 

 

Postal Rate Increase Rules Update

According to a blog published by the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers in June, they are becoming more optimistic that the Postal Rate Commission’s (PRC) Notice of Proposed Rulemaking issued earlier in the year is not likely to happen in January as so many of us feared.

There is a good deal of confidence that the PRC will not act on the 10-year regulatory review recommendations until after the President’s Task Force on the USPS system finishes its report due on August 10, 2018. The Task Force has received an outpouring of suggestions and the PRC is faced with milling through pages of reply comments received back in March, most denouncing their proposal.

The scheduled January postal rate increase depends on an expedited PRC decision if it is going to include rates above the CPI cap currently in place. A USPS price change also depends on Senate Confirmation of at least one Governor too, which is unlikely to quickly happen.

We’ll keep you abreast as this important ruling unfolds.

The Lay of Facebook Land

Basically, there are only three ways your followers will see posts generated by your company page:

  1. Your audience is versed enough in FB to know how to set their Newsfeed to set your page views to the “See First” setting
  2. Your audience searches your page and reads posts from there
  3. You pay FB to place it on people’s Newsfeed

The “See First” setting is simple to do.  Just go to the page you want to see all posts from (you must like or follow the page), click the drop down menu on the following button and select “see first”. That’s it. Now you’ll see every post (up to 5 a day) on your Newsfeed. However, Facebook doesn’t seem to be promoting this feature.

Every page has loyal followers (often friends, family and the people posting) who will search for your company page directly and read posts from the page Newsfeed. Unfortunately, the majority of followers won’t, which leaves you with paying Facebook to advertise on the platform.

The Ads platform is changing every day as well. Facebook’s marketing glossary continues to expand as do the features. Terms like LTV (Lifetime Value-which is the overall revenue a business generates from an average user throughout their time using the app); add to a growing list acronyms specific to advertising on the platform.

New features released this month alone include the Info & Ads Feature that allows all users to view every ad a page is running at that moment, even if the user doesn’t Like/Follow the page or is a member of the targeted audience. Also, you can cross-post (single image posts only) onto an Instagram account from Facebook. Companies like HootSuite and Buffer are loosing their service values by the day.

Old and reliable features are going away just as fast. Facing elimination as of August 15th is Partner Categories. They are some of the demographics available when creating targeted audiences. These demographics are derived from third-party data.  The third-party partners are the “big guns” which include Acxiom, Epsilon, Experian, Oracle Data Cloud, and Quantium; the data giants of today.  They help provide game-changing personal information within the paid ads stage such as household income, parents with children [pick the age], or what kind of car your audience drives.

Depending on the targeting options you select, soon  you won’t see leading indicators such as audience size and potential reach either.

We’ll keep you posted as things continue to evolve.

USPS Replaced CAPS with EPS

One of the most important USPS innovations was the Centralized Account Payment System (CAPS). Prior to CAPS, most mailers had to pay for postage via check into trust accounts associated with each local mailing permit they established, and in advance of mailings. The CAPS system allowed for customers to cover all of their payments to USPS through one centralized account funded with electronic funds transfers.

The most advanced feature of CAPS was enabling mailers to have their own bank accounts debited by the USPS with the Automated Clearinghouse (ACH), after the mail was entered. This enabled “just in time payment” that brought USPS customer service more in line with the business world. It also reduced costs on both the customer and USPS sides, as it replaced thousands of paper checks with ACH transfers.

Today the USPS has given CAPS a makeover, (now known as Enterprise Payment System (EPS)). EPS will keep the core enhancements of CAPS that are now taken for granted and add more functionality and ease of use, according to a recent Postal announcement.

As of April 1, 2019, the USPS will retire CAPS.  After launching the new EPS payment processing system which supports multiple payment options, including mobile check deposit, offers more reporting features, and allows management of multiple USPS business functions under one account.

Eligible Products and Services include First-Class Mail®, Letters, Cards, and Flats, Priority Mail, First-Class Package Service, USPS Marketing Mail™, Letters, Flats, and Parcels, Parcel Select®, Media Mail®, Library Mail, Bound Printed Matter, Periodicals, International Products, Business Reply Mail (BRM), and Every Door Direct Mail (EDDM®), submitted via hard copy, eDoc (Mail.dat/Mail.XML), Postal Wizard or the Intelligent Mail® small business (IMsb) Tool, PO Box, Caller & Reserve Services (EPOBOL), and Address Quality Products (AEC, AECII and ACS™).

Products not currently supported include Electronic Verification System (eVS®), Parcel Return Service (PRS), PC Postage®, Scan Based Payment (SBP), Merchandise Return Service (MRS), Official Mail Accounting System (OMAS), Premium Forwarding Service Commercial (PFSC™), Share Mail®, and Intelligent Mail barcode Accounting (IMbA). Customers utilizing these products will be continue to be supported through CAPS.

Effective September 1, 2018, new payment accounts must be established through EPS. Effective April 1, 2019, eligible CAPS accounts must be migrated to EPS, although customers are encouraged to migrate now.

Mail Entry and Business Mailer Support is hosting a series of informational sessions on EPS and the migration process:

o When: Occurs every Tuesday 1:00 PM to 2:00 PM EST

o Webex: https://uspsmeetings.webex.com/uspsmeetings/j.php?MTID=mb2fa637535b3d99a3c91879db494ff8f

o Call-in toll-free number (US): 1-855-860-7461

 Conference Code: 358 251 5082

For more information:

Visit PostalPro Enterprise Payment System Page: https://postalpro.usps.com/eps
For more EPS benefits and how to create an EPS account review the Enterprise Payment System Account Creation Fact Sheet: https://postalpro.usps.com/EPS/MigrationFactSheet
To sign-up today contact:

Your local Business Mail Entry Unit (BMEU): https://ribbs.usps.gov/locators/find-bme.cfm
PostalOne! Helpdesk
o Call: 1-800-522-9085

o Email: Postalone@usps.gov

 

Walter Barnes Service Information

Walter Barnes

It is with tremendous sadness that we share that our Walter Barnes (70), passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Monday, July 2, 2018.

Walter was born in Bunkie, Louisiana (population 4,064) on February 22, 1948.  Walter’s father was a brakeman on the rails and Walter carried the travel bug with him into his young adulthood travelling across the country living in places as far away as Arizona and Colorado before settling down to find a career in Houston.

(L) Walter and (R) Ron Royall circa 1999

Walter married Mary Jane Barnes in 1980 and was recruited to Business Extension Bureau (BEB) in August of 1981 by our founder, Robert “Bob” Royall.  Walter was known for his mechanical talent and extensive knowledge of the United States Postal Service rules and regulations. It has been said that Walter could listen to the sound of a machine and know what was wrong with it; and his expertise with all things postal earned him the nick name “Mail Guru” as he was considered a Houston Postal Industry Leader.

Walter and Rachel Alba – 35yrs + BEBers

Walter was a 32nd degree Mason, a member of the Bunkie Masonic Lodge #326, and a member of the Scottish Rite, Order of DeMolay. He was a recipient of the Chevalier, the highest honor for distinguished DeMolay service that can be awarded.

Walter loved his family and was an excellent chef.  All of us at BEB miss his culinary skills and Angel Vierna tells the story of how Walter was the only person who gave her the secret to making “the best” biscuits ever!  Walter also loved his LSU Tigers, and would often recount in detail how special Saturday nights at Tiger Stadium were to him.  We at BEB will always remember the daily Domino games between Walter and Bob.

Our BEB family mourn the loss of Walter and our thoughts and prayers are with his family through this trying time.

Left to cherish his memories are his wife, Mary Jane and son Wally.

Visitation services are on Thursday, July 5, 2018 from 5pm – 8pm at Forest Park East Funeral Home located at 21620 Gulf Freeway in Webster, Texas 77598.

The funeral service is on Friday, July 6, 2018 from 10am – 1pm at Forest Park East Funeral Home located at 21620 Gulf Freeway in Webster, Texas 77598.

Click here for more details.

What is a Wayzgoose?

A wayzgoose (or wayz-goose, waygoose or wayzegoose) was at one time an entertainment given by a master printer to his workmen each year on or about St Bartholomew’s Day (24 August). It marked the traditional end of summer and the start of the season of working by candlelight. Later, the word came to refer to an annual outing for the staff of a printing works or the printers on a newspaper.

In modern times, the tradition has been adopted by large publishing and educational sales companies in The United States. Southwestern Advantage throws an annual festival at the end of the summer/fall (early September) for their most successful dealers to celebrate a long summer of work. The festivities largely consist of several days of chanting, games, and libations.

Be on the lookout for more information on the Printing Industries of the Gulf Coast, first annual, Wayzgoose coming in August!