As you would expect in our fast moving world, there is consistent movement within the various social media platforms we marketers and small business owners use. As a small business owner and/or Internet Marketer, it is important to keep your finger on the pulse of the various tools used and the most recent aspects of social media evolution. This is not always easy, as sometimes there is conflicting information, or not a readily amount of news about changes. While small changes to the Facebook algorithm may seem like huge news to us, the average Facebook user really does not care, so we can not expect to see this information on CNN, Fox, or the local news. Even tech savvy publications may gloss over some of the main points. So, it helps to have a variety of news feeds, from sources such as Entrepreneur, Forbes, Mashable, Marketo, Social Media Examiner, Inside Facebook, and other sources you and others in your network have found.
This brings me to my next point. We can all learn from each other, because there are often times where we have been busy with clients, family, or other obligations, and we may not catch the breaking news on upcoming social media changes. Networking is valuable not only for leads and referrals, but for sharing of information and news.
So without further wait, here are some known, and rumored, changes continuing the social media evolution on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus and Pinterest in the first quarter of 2014.
Facebook: Facebook will be making several changes soon. You may have already noticed on a new look on your personal news stream. For your company pages, the upcoming updates involves how we will use, see, and edit our Company Pages. As noted on their official Facebook for Business page, the changes include an updated timeline display, which will have a ‘one-column display’ instead of two columns as we see now. While on the left side, there will be a column which features the pertinent information about your organization, such as contact information, website URL, hours, and location. Your media images and video will also be displayed on the left side from now on. Administrators are being promised easier access to their insights, with ad results and unread messages and insights more noticeable. One key update that I like is that “The Build Audience menu at the top of the Page offers direct access to your Ads Manager account”. See more about this update here: https://www.facebook.com/business/news/A-Streamlined-Look-for-Pages
Twitter: Twitter has been very busy lately with several changes to the platform, and there is a rumored change to how users will be no longer have hashtags (#) and replies (@) available for their use. Again, this is just a rumor for now, but the effects of removing these two communicative features would have a major impact on Twitter users, especially small business owners and marketers who rely on these tools to increase engagement with their audience. Stay tuned and stay updated. The reason behind this rumored change is to make Twitter more user friendly for new users, who may have a hard time understanding the usage of the “#” and “@” for engagement. Although it is the simplest in terms of amount of content to use, Twitter does seem to have the highest learning curve among the main social media platforms.
LinkedIn: LinkedIn is also reported to be changing how its users will see company information. There is a post from LinkedIn which was shared by Lisa Dougherty, founder of BrandLove LLC, stating that they will be ‘retiring the products and services tab’ from company pages starting in April 14th, 2014. LinkedIn appears to be trying to motivate companies to use company updates and showcase pages. So although this is a major change, and for those companies that dedicated a lot of time and effort towards building multiple product tabs, personally we have used company updates to share information more than the tabs. The showcase pages appear to be a great way to share information about company features and services, and many organizations, such as Prudential Financial who created a showcase page for their “The Prudential Challenge Lab“, are already using this method.
Google Plus: Google Plus has also gone through several changes recently, and one noticed by users was the recent change in how shared links and their accompanying images look. As noticed by Google Plus Daily, the changes were mostly some minor tweaks to a previous updated look, but do highlight how just subtle changes improve the look and feel of this newer social media platform.
Pinterest: The biggest news for Pinterest lately has been the addition of new languages added to their interface for translation, and that “The Pin It button for Chrome” recently received an upgrade. So, although not much is new with this medium that affects marketers and small business owners today, as the popularity and use of Pinterest continues to grow, you can assume that there will be more changes.
In Closing: As we post this today on March 24th, 2014, be assured that by next week, next month, and next year, that this will already be ‘old news’, so bookmark the aforementioned links, and stay up to date on the continued social media evolution. If you have questions about how to increase your marketing share and brand awareness via social media, please do not hesitate to contact us at Tayloe Marketing and Consulting.
Thank you for reading!