Whitney Gonzalez

Account Executive

social media awesomeness | curly hair advocate | traveler | bookworm

What You Need to Know About Facebook’s Latest Algorithm Update

Facebook: a place to interact with friends and family, near and far, and share our favorite memories. Well, that used to be its featured function. For the past few years, it’s been a great (mostly free) space for brands to reach new audiences. Branded content now has the ability to target people in a way that excited marketers because their target audiences themselves were providing the data needed to pull off many successful campaigns. But founder Mark Zuckerberg felt like Facebook was straying too far from its original purpose.

“We feel a responsibility to make sure our services aren’t just fun to use, but also good for people’s well-being. So, we’ve studied this trend carefully by looking at the academic research and doing our own research with leading experts at universities. The research shows that when we use social media to connect with people we care about, it can be good for our well-being. We can feel more connected and less lonely, and that correlates with long term measures of happiness and health. On the other hand, passively reading articles or watching videos — even if they’re entertaining or informative — may not be as good,” said Zuckerberg when he broke the news of a big change coming to Facebook.

So, what will this mean for your brand’s presence on Facebook?

Quite frankly, it means fewer organic (non-paid) Page posts will appear in users’ timelines. You may have already noticed the changes in your timeline. However, if you invest in creating high-quality, relatable content, you shouldn’t worry. The more users engage with your content by reacting, commenting and sharing, the more likely it is to appear in timelines organically. This involves marketers conducting in-depth analyses of their most engaging and useful content and ensuring that future content performs similarly.

Thanks to an inside look at the new algorithm updates, we learned about the signals that will determine how your content ranks within timelines. Peek at the before and after below.



Brands should also leverage boosting posts and Facebook ads to get important content in front of key audiences.

The changes to Facebook’s News Feed also impact paid social efforts on the platform. With decreased availability for brand messaging in the News Feed, more brands and advertisers will turn to paid ads and boosted posts to ensure their content is seen. This increased demand will likely lead to increased CPMs (cost per thousand impressions). Facebook, however, intends to balance out these increased costs by bringing more active and engaged audiences to advertisers in the News Feed, hoping to increase clicks and engagements. This will make paid ad space more valuable.


Have a question on how this applies to your brand specifically? Let’s discuss.

The Secret to Cheap Airfare

My top travel goal this year is seeing the northern lights. I thought for sure I’d go to Iceland for them but a $300 RT flight from Orlando to Oslo convinced me to chase them in Norway instead.

If you’re wondering how I found such a cheap flight to Europe or how to find cheap flights in general, the answer is Google Flights!

Looking for flights be like...
Me looking for flights


When you first visit google.com/flights, you’ll see the Discover Destinations section. This is particularly useful if you have dates in mind but aren’t sure where to go.


Explore Map

Using the Explore Map, you can peek at prices for flights to nearby areas. This is helpful if you’d like to go to California but aren’t really set on the city. Come on, I can’t be the only one who picks destinations based on the deals.


Tracked Prices

I confess. I have had 40+ flight trackers running at once (I only have 11 now, OK?). If you have your heart set on a date and/or destination but aren’t ready to book, flight trackers are for you! You can set a tracker for a specific flight or you can set it to track the cheapest flight to your destination on set dates. Google Flights will email you every time the price of your trip changes. Also, once your tracker has run for a while, you’ll see a price history chart.

Track Flights on Google


*Save Money!*

Google Flights is my favorite way to save money on flights. It makes it so easy to make knowledgeable and budget-friendly travel decisions. It even provides money-saving tips by letting you know if you’ll save a chunk of cash by flying into a different airport or flying in/out on a different day. <3 you, Google! This year alone, I've scored some seriously good deals out of MCO thanks to the googs, including:

Kauai, Hawaii – $570

London, UK – $545

Oslo, Norway – $300

Chicago, IL – $70

(Yes, these are all roundtrip flights and include taxes and fees.)

Store Visits: How Google Can Help Marketers Track Conversions

Google is making retail marketers’ dreams come true with in-store visits tracking in AdWords. Despite the surge of online shopping, the majority of retail purchases still occur in physical store locations. Google’s Store Visits Beta allows marketers to validate online ad campaigns and to highlight successful, revenue-driving campaigns.

Check out Google’s video on how it works:

&Barr is a qualified Google Partner agency and the Digital Marketing & Analytics team, led by Dawson Henry, has secured access to this limited beta and is currently using the Store Visits analytics dashboard to measure campaign data for Sonny’s BBQ.

“As a Google Partner, we have access to Google training and support that helps us improve our client’s campaigns through targeted ad spending,” said Henry. “The Store Visits Beta gives us even more information about our campaigns, helping to identify the value of online advertising.”

Google’s new Store Visits Beta finally unveils how online marketing affects offline purchases. With more analytics, marketers learn more about their customer and how best to connect with them.

“We are excited to be able to track our search advertising through to a restaurant visit,” said Dave Cain, Director of Marketing at Sonny’s BBQ. “With this new beta, we can see in real time what’s working and what’s not.”

Right now, the Store Visits Beta is limited, but we are always on the lookout and working with our clients to get them whitelisted into this and other Google beta programs.

Google describes its Partners as having learned advanced concepts for creating, managing, measuring and optimizing Google AdWords advertising products, and &Barr is proud to sport the Google Partner badge.

About Whitney

Whitney is a writer who has found her niche in social media and digital marketing. Having previously worked with organizations, including Disney Parks, PlayStation and Orange County Government, she has the aptitude to create engaging online communities and to identify passionate brand influencers. Whitney earned a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism & Public Relations from Southeastern University in Lakeland, Fla. and was named the most outstanding graduate in her major. Whitney serves as a volunteer board member for the Friends of the Orange County Library System and the Florida Public Relations Association's Orlando Area Chapter. In her spare time, Whitney can be found scouring the interwebs for travel deals, exploring Orlando, tweeting up a storm, laughing too hard at dad jokes, and playing/running with her fur-baby, Cocoa.