2012 has been a year of change in social media. from facebook buying instagram to the twitter and linkedin break-up, we have seen many updates and changes to the social media world that we never saw coming. The most important part of learning about these changes is making sure that they are weaved into your social media strategy. Twitter and Linkedin have both made segmentation easier. Facebook has made global marketing easier. the task at hand now is integrating these updates swiftly into your marketing strategy.
With 2013 only days away, take this time to learn about them and start the year off fresh. We have 21 advancements that will make the difference you have been waiting for in your social media strategy. Just think, your top source of leads could soon be social media.
Interested? keep reading…
#1 GLOBAL BRAND PAGES
Facebook page managers of global companies were always confronted with a dilemma: they had to maintain facebook pages for people who speak different languages. Managers had to make a decision to either keep up multiple brand pages or maintain one brand page with really general content. Both solutions were not ideal and did not satisfy the large, global audience. However, the updated global brand pages released in october fixes this! With global pages, marketers can maintain just one facebook page url that will route fans to different versions of the page based on their location.
This update makes the job of a social media marketer much more efficient and effective. you get the best of both worlds — one page to manage personalized content, and one centralized dashboard to measure it all.
#2 MOBILE ONLY FACEBOOK ADS
In the last few years, mobile has become more and more important to marketers. Customers aren’t always (or even usually) on their desktop browsers when looking at companies, products or services. Initially, facebook was only allowing marketers to have a package deal and pay for ads on a desktop as well as mobile. In June, Facebook satisfied many marketers by announcing an option to pay for ads only in the facebook mobile app.
Many companies have done tests to see if their audience is predominantly using mobile or not. Other companies wanted to test which platform was better for them. Facebook now makes it easy for marketers who want to run mobile ad tests. And advertising dollars are now better spent with this update.
#3 FACEBOOK TARGETING OPTIONS
The more specific a marketer can get in segmentation, the more responsive the audience will be. Facebook continues to update their targeting options and now includes age, gender, gender the user is interested in, relationship status, education, college grad (college name, major), in college (college name, major, years), in high school, and workplace in addition to the options already available including language and location.
Before this update, everything that a facebook page updated would appear in a user’s newsfeed just because of their language and location, even if it didn’t really relate to them. with more nitty-gritty targeting options, social media marketers can target parts of their audiences with more personalized content.
#4 OPEN GRAPH APPLICATIONS
Facebook now allowsopen graph applications, which allow third-party developers to automatically share user engagement after someone gives them permission once. For example, if you read an article on the new york times and have given the open graph application permission, it will automatically post your engagement with that app — namely, what you were reading — on your timeline.
As a result, marketers are able to reach a user’s following, and automatically enlarging their reach. if you are playing a particular game on facebook, it will post to your timeline allowing your, say, 2,000 friends hear about the game.
# 5 FACEBOOK BUYS INSTAGRAM
One of the biggest news stories of the year was facebook’s purchase of instagram for one billion buckaroos. Even though facebook is now the owner, the two products still function separately. However, both products takes cues from one another to function even better. Facebook pictures, for example, now have an aspect ratio more similar to that of Instagram. Sharing to facebook from instagram is also easier, and the way those photos appear on a user’s timeline is now more prominently featured than it was before.
in 2013, marketers should take a look at instagram and consider integrating it into their marketing campaigns. with a user base of over 50 million, it provides the perfect opportunity to market to a large audience.
#6 TAILORED TRENDS
Twitter trends have become more and more popular as twitter’s popularity has grown. everyone wants their hashtag to be “trending on twitter.” But now trends will be even more targeted to users who see them. tailored trends take into account a user’s interests, followers, and location. This update allows twitter to notify users about relevant topics. when breaking trends affecting the industry occur, tailored trends is a way marketers can immediately find out about it, and possibly even do some newsjacking.
#7 COVER PHOTOS
Twitter followed facebook and announced cover photos on a user or company’s profile page.
Marketers now have more real estate to promote their company and give followers a better feel of what the company is all about. followers’ eyes will immediately go toward the larger image that also promotes the username, location, and bio — which was far less visible with the old layout.
The new look adds some flavor and visual personality to a twitter account.
#8 TARGETING BY InTEREST OR USERNAME
Twitter paid advertising now allows marketers to target their audience by interest or username. When targeting by interest, twitter looks at who the user is talking about, following, and what keywords he or she is using. when targeting by username, twitter looks at other people who are similar to another username (and not just following them). this update allows marketers to segment during their paid advertising more effectively to reach a greater number of people with interests that are more aligned.
#9 LINKEDIN & TWITTER BREAK UP
As you enter 2013, remember one of the biggest changes marketers saw to linkedin & twitter: The end of their partnership. Previously, users could post updates to linkedin through their twitter accounts. The end of their partnership marks the end of users having the ability to do this. Users can still post to twitter from linkedin, but they cannot post to linkedin from twitter, affecting many marketers who had synced up the two for a more streamlined social media management experience.
#10 TARGETED LINKEDIN UPDATES
Following suit from some of the other social networks, marketers can now segment updates based on company size, industry, job function, seniority, geography, and include/exclude company employees. Using this criteria, advertisers can publish updates right to a user’s homepage. Your company’s LinkedIn admins will also be given metrics for number of followers targeted, impressions, clicks, shares, and engagement after 24 hours.
As a result of targeted ads, LinkedIn has seen a 66% increase in engagement!
#11 COMPANY PAGES MAKEOVER
LinkedIn company pages used to all look the same with the exception of the company’s logo and information. However, the new design for LinkedIn company pages displays company updates and products & services more prominently. The new look also includes a cover photo, a different layout for jobs, and, as mentioned, the option to target your company updates to different segments of your audience.
One of the best parts of this new layout is how much more visible your products and services are to page visitors, and even includes recommendations in the sidebar — an important part of marketing for any company.
#12 PROMOTED UPDATES
Foursquare is often a forgotten tool when marketing, but they have launched more and more updates to allow marketers to target their audiences. Promoted Updates give companies the ability to appear in people’s “Explore” tab even if they had not been to the restaurant before. They could promote a special, share photos, or share another message encouraging users to come to their establishment.
This new feature has helped marketers extend their reach and appear in anyone’s feed, even if they have never been in contact with the business before.
#13 RATINGS SYSTEM
Foursquare recently announced a ratings system to recommend new places. It’s different than other ratings systems where they don’t just ask people whether or not they like a location, but they use a combination of factors including tips, likes, dislikes, popularity, loyalty, local expertise, and check-ins from all over the world. When you go to the ‘Explore’ tab, you’re able to see what the popular places nearby are based on these rankings.
Marketers have a unique challenge with this update — unlike your typical ratings where people say how much they like or dislike a place, this ranking also takes into account other factors including check-ins, tips, and loyalty. It is the marketer’s job to encourage people to come to their restaurant or location to leave tips and provide specials that will lead to customer loyalty.
#14 HANGOUTS ON AIR
Google finally gave marketers what they asked for with Hangouts. Specifically, Hangouts on Air. The Hangouts feature allows marketers to have hangouts with nine other people while broadcasting to a larger audience.
The Google is automatically recorded and uploaded to your YouTube account — although you can turn off that option.
Hangouts now have a larger business purpose and can be used for press conferences, company announcements, webinars, events, conferences, and even interviews.
#15 SEARCH ENGINE UPDATES
Google is now integrated into your Google+ search results so whenever you search for something on Google, it uses information from Google+ accounts in your results. This includes photos and updates that you or others in your network have shared. Marketers, remember that if you are looking to improve your SEO, you need to use Google+ as part of your marketing strategy. The line between social media and SEO is getting thinner and thinner, be sure you’re connecting the dots.
#16 GOOGLE PLACES BECOMES GOOGLE+ LOCAL
Google+ Local is the newest edition of Google Places but integrates the contact information, reviews, and photos of places you search for on Google or Google Maps.
#17 GOOGLE AUTHORSHIP
Many marketers write for their company blog, but they do not have Google Authorship, an important component to promoting your posts. When you have a profile on Google+, you can set up Google Authorship. This means that when someone searches for your post, your headshot appears alongside the blog post you authored. Research has shown that about 1/3 of people click on images first in search results. Not only are you promoting your hard work, but you are increasing clicks to your site!
#18 GOOGLE+ COMMUNITIES
Google+ Communities are places for people to gather around a specific subject matter. Communities are little online publics on Google+ … pretty much what the name implies. Think of it like your LinkedIn or Facebook Groups! But, you know, on Google+. These communities can be used just as LinkedIn or Facebook Groups would be used — to rally together people of certain interests and inspire targeted conversations and targeted marketing communications.
#19 BUSINESS ACCOUNTS
Earlier this year, marketers could not use Pinterest for promotional reasons. But then Pinterest Business Accounts launched, allowing marketers to promote their companies in one of the most highly trafficked social networks.
#20 IN-VIDEO PROGRAMMING
YouTube had an annotations feature to add, well, annotations, to certain parts of videos so that messages or calls-to-actions would pop up during the video. They have now launched In-Video Programming which allows you to promote other videos during the video you are watching. Instead of relying on a text link to promote your video, YouTube now allows you to add a visual which is more appealing to most viewers, especially on this channel. Additionally, you can now add an element of branding to all your videos through an icon. You can upload a custom image or use your logo. You can additionally choose which corner it will appear in and how long the image will stay there. If your video is being shown on another website, it can be helpful to maintain branding and help people remember your company.
#21 INTERACTIVE TRANSCRIPT
When watching a video on YouTube, how often do you make it to the end of the video? Most viewers stop part way through and possibly miss a call-to-action left for them at the end. Interactive transcript changes this for marketers. Below the video, there is now an area where YouTube transcribes the entire video, allowing users to skim through the transcript and see what they are missing even if they do not want to watch the whole video. It also puts in time stamps so viewers can skip ahead to the parts of the video they really want to watch.
Source: Hubspot & Inboud Visibility
Ben is a Inbound Marketing Strategist at Leading Search Engine Optimization Company Dynamic Search. This company specializes in SEO Strategy, Link Building Strategy, Social Media Marketing Agency and Social Media Marketing Services & finally Inboud Marketing Experts. Follow Dynamic Search !