Social Media Changes That Help You Reach Qualified Customers
How does anyone keep up with all the social media changes in 2014 and the constant updates and search algorithm changes with pretty much all social media platforms and search engines? You need to keep well informed, read a ton of material, and keep working projects in social media and search to gain experience and learn best practices. Who has time for that?
I do! I love keeping up with all the search algorithm changes Google throws at us over 500 times per year. I also really enjoy the many social media changes each platform makes with their algorithms and engagement tweaks.
If you’ve been flummoxed with all the changes to social media and SEO this year alone, this article will serve as a quick summary on what’s changed so far in 2014. TopDog Social Media notes that there have been “some big and important changes recently” in the world of social media marketing.
As a digital marketer or a business owner, you know that you need to know more about what’s going on with Pinterest messages, LinkedIn’s new “follow” buttons, Facebook’s crackdowns on lick hair and links in photo captions, and Twitter’s proposed timeline algorithm, or “Filtered” feed.
None of these updates and changes are really, really new, but they are all very recent and today is the day we do a roundup summary of the important changes in social media marketing that digital marketers need to understand.
Facebook’s New Changes
Let’s start with the world’s largest and most engaged social platform. They’ve made at least 4 significant updates to the platform this year.
1. Like-Gating on Brand Pages Gets Banned
I’m not so upset about this update, but it is useful to know and understand. Facebook defines like-gating this way:
“Like-Gating is when you force a Facebook user who has not already liked your Page to like your Page before they can see content on a particular custom tab (or application – they’re the same). The point of a Like-Gate is to increase the number of Facebook users who Like your Facebook Page.”
I guess when you like a Page on Facebook, Facebook really wants to make sure you like the page. They added these details in the developers blog post:
“You must not incentivize people to use social plugins or to like a Page. This includes offering rewards, or gating apps or app content based on whether or not a person has liked a Page. It remains acceptable to incentivize people to login to your app, check-in at a place or enter a promotion on your app’s Page. To ensure quality connections and help businesses reach the people who matter to them, we want people to like Pages because they want to connect and hear from the business, not because of artificial incentives. We believe this update will benefit people and advertisers alike.”
Doesn’t it seem that this change points to the possible fact that Facebook knows a Page like isn’t really worth as much as us Page admins think it is. Then again that depends. If you are creating awesome sharable content, your Page likes will just grow organically with qualified fans.
2. New Rule That Cracks Down on Click Bait
Click baited headlines are a staple of social media marketing. Companies like BuzzFeed, HuffPo, and Upworthy all use this tactic. Facebook isn’t having any of it anymore though. So if you hate them, you won’t have to see them anymore.
A new algorithm tweak by Facebook now minimizes articles in your News Feed that are clearly begging for your engagement with click bait headlines. Ever wonder how “they” do this? This is what they track to determine click bait:
1. The ratio of people clicking on content versus people discussing it with friends and sharing it (low engagement = potential click bait)
2. Time spent away from Facebook before returning (low time spent = potential click bait)
3. More Insights on Multiple Devices
Have you ever created mobile ads for your Facebook advertising campaign and wondered what happens if someone sees your ad on mobile but they don’t engage or convert until they get back on their laptop?
How would you be able to track those types of conversations because you know they do happen, and often. Facebook has offered us Ad Reports tools. If you sell products on line and use Facebook, you should check this out.
4. No More Links in Your Status and Captions
This goes hand in hand with Facebook’s new click bait policy. Facebook will downplay rankings and positioning in the News Feed for any posts that have links in the captions/status updates.
“We’ve found that people often prefer to click on links that are displayed in the link format (which appears when you paste a link while drafting a post), rather than links that are buried in photo captions. The link format shows some additional information associated with the link, such as the beginning of the article, which makes it easier for someone to decide if they want to click through. This format also makes it easier for someone to click through on mobile devices, which have a smaller screen.
With this update, we will prioritize showing links in the link-format, and show fewer links shared in captions or status updates.”
Social Media Changes From Twitter
Twitter is going through many changes while many aren’t even reported. They’ve updated their analytics for every twitter user, not just those who are advertising. They’ve also had 2 other major updates so far this year.
It’s all about the marketing, re-marketing, and social media advertising. Twitter is no different. They are continually rolling out new business features that they’re hooping will boost revenue.
In addition to promoted tweets, Twitter now offers promoted video.
“If used right, this is an exciting new opportunity for advertisers but likely also an annoyance for users that are exposed to the less-than-clever examples that are bound to quickly reveal themselves.”
Updated Timeline: A Filtered Feed
This one is major. Did it ever stir up controversy in the Twitterverse. There are many divided opinions that provide from interesting reading and debate.
Recently Twitter announced that they would be implementing an algorithm-driven feed in 2015. Since Google Search, Facebook, and YouTube all use algorithms, why shouldn’t Twitter?
After they all, social platforms must deliver content that their users find relevant. Twitter’s CFO Anthony Noto publicly stated that arranging tweets based on time “isn’t the most relevant experience for users.”
Sort of makes sense the way social media, real time news, and Twitter have evolved.
LinkedIn Wants To Be a Real Social Network
Believe it or not, LinkedIn can be an amazing channel for social media marketing, particularly for B2B businesses. We have a client who has a B2B and B2C social media strategy designed by yours truly. We’re able to drive leads from our LinkedIn social marketing as well as drive qualified B2C traffic, from other social media platforms like Facebook and Pinterest, in which a decent percentage turn into paid customers.
Hello LinkedIn Follow Button!
In an effort to become more of a ‘real’ social network, LinkedIn has rolled out a “Follow” button. Pretty much millions of user profiles are now equipped with this feature. Previously, only elite LinkedIn members/influencers, had this privilege.
What does this mean? Well, simply you can now follow and interact with posts from anyone regardless if they are connected to your network or not.
Hidden Social Sharing Stats
Huh? This is ridiculous and makes absolutely no sense to me. Why this change? LinkedIn Publishing removed the social sharing stats o posts. WTF? …and why?
Ever hear of social proof? Share counts are more than a vital element of “social proof” and also indicates to readers the quality of the content and how shareworhty the content is.
For some reason, LinkedIn Publisher has been redesigned, but the debs forgot to add the social sharing/social proof back to each post. At least that’s what I’m hoping. Fingers crossed the social shattering stats return.
Pinterest Steps It Up
Pinterest had been a hold out for direct messages between Pinners. Which really didn’t make much sense when you can direct message your followers on pretty much all other social networks, including most recently Instagram direct messages.
Pinterest Private Messages
In an effort to get more social, Pinterest has added private messaging. You’d think this feature would have been implemented from the start – or that Pinterest users would have requested it a long time ago.
Pinterest suggests that you can use private messaging to share discoveries with people who’s appreciate them the most, plan a project with a group of friends, and reach out to people that share your interests.
To me this sounds like a possible strategic opportunity for brands to take advantage of…
Another example of how the latest change for Pinterest shows they are stepping things up for users and brands alike, is the recent introduction of Pinterest Analytics.
This new feature is great for brands in that we can now see what people like from our profiles and what they save or PIN from your website. That’s huge info!
Pinterest allows for us to now get new data about our audience so we can learn what our customers really want.
- What Pins and boards from your profile people love most
- What people like to save from your website
- Who your Pinterest audience is, including their gender, location and other interests
- What devices people use when they’re Pinning your stuff
- How adding the Pin It button to your website leads to referral traffic from Pinterest
Visit analytics.pinterest.com to log in and view your analytics.
You must have a business account to get access.
How many of these social media changes have you come across? At VPDM Digital, we do our best to stay on top of al the changes in social media, inbound content marketing, and search engine optimization (SEO).
This is not an easy task as I’m sure you can relate. Things change way too much and much too often in the world of social media and search marketing. Algorithms in social search, algorithms for your News Feed or Timelines, and obviously the many changes to Google’s search algorithm are enough to keep the most seasoned digital marketing experts on their toes.
While the latest changes in social media platforms listed above may not seem major to you, they are significant to how users and brands use and interact each platform.
As a digital marketer or business owner, it’s important that you stay on top of such things in order to adjust your social marketing strategy when it becomes necessary.
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