Staying on top of social media changes
Are you playing social media catch up?
Social media changes your business needs to know about – Facebook and Twitter
In this hi-tech age, nothing stands still. Social media is no exception. Are you managing to keep up to speed with the latest social media changes? I’m delighted to welcome social media specialist Karen Wisdom to the blog this month, who examines the latest changes to Facebook and Twitter and explains how they might affect your business’s social media marketing.
The latest change to Facebook’s algorithm announced at the end of June impacts on the potential reach of brands. This is part of Facebook’s move to make its News Feed more family and friend-centric, meaning that fewer published posts from brands or companies will show up in individuals’ news feeds.
What does this mean for your business?
The algorithm change means your posts’ reach will continue to decrease. It is predicted that brands will soon need to increase their Facebook advertising budgets to keep their campaigns’ reach on the current level. In other words, Facebook wants you to pay to achieve a higher level of reach.
However, there are a few possible ways around this. Your posts’ reach will be less affected if the majority of your referral traffic is the result of people sharing your content and their friends liking and commenting on it, than if most of your traffic comes directly through Page posts.
What can you do about it?
To help maximise your Facebook reach and engagement, Facebook marketing guru Mari Smith recommends:
- Focus on creating more video posts
- Broadcast with Facebook Live, and often
- Always include visual elements e.g. photos or graphical images
- Re-use Facebook Live videos (by downloading the file)
- Create professional videos using marketing tools such as Animoto
- Design posts for maximum shares by thinking about how your post will make your audience’s friends feel
- Monitor Facebook Insights daily to determine your best performing posts. You can also use SumoRank.com to analyse what performs best for any Facebook Page
- Consider paying to amplify your post reach.
Hot off the press…from 21 July 2016, Facebook is also:
- Rolling out changes to the layout of business pages and the functionality of Messenger
- Expanding the reach of ads, beyond Facebook users, to make ads visible on third-party sites and apps; this is called online interest-based advertising
- Introducing new rules for the density of text appearing in ad images; the 20% rule no longer applies. While Facebook now accepts ad images with a higher density of text, those with lower density of text are most likely to achieve a higher reach (i.e. without having to pay more for distribution)
- Adding maps to its Local Awareness Ads and will start reporting estimates of how many store visits those ads generated. This will allow users to optimise their ads’ creative, delivery and targeting.
Twitter has been comparatively quiet since late spring, when it announced a programme of changes to simplify Tweets. These are the key changes:
- Replies: When replying to a Tweet, the use of @names in replies and media attachments (e.g. photos, GIFs, videos, polls) no longer count towards the 140-character count
- ReTweet and Quote Tweet yourself: you can now easily Retweet or Quote Tweet yourself when you want to share a new angle, or want to re-post a good Tweet. A Quote Tweet does not count as characters within your Tweet
- Goodbye .@: This helps to simplify the rules around Tweets that start with a username. New Tweets that begin with a username now reach all your followers. That means you’ll no longer have to use the ‘.@’ convention, which was previously needed to broadcast Tweets more broadly.
More blue ticks
Twitter has also announced that it will offer more users its prestigious ‘ blue tick’ – a much-sought-after trophy of verification. The tick is a sign of status and has traditionally been reserved for users considered ‘official’, such as celebrities, public figures and organisations. Up until now, just 187,000 of Twitter’s 320 million monthly users had been verified. Now Twitter has opened the stamp to all of its users who can apply to be verified through a simple application process, using a form to be posted on Twitter’s website.
So there you have it, lots of social media changes to keep abreast of! Have you come across any others recently?
Karen Wisdom has over 25 years’ experience in marketing and provides a range of marketing and social media services to clients across South East London and North West Kent. Her work for clients includes marketing and social media strategy and planning, social media training and activity management, and content creation/sourcing.
Karen is a regular social media speaker, and writer, and is one of twelve regional UK tutors appointed to teach the first BTEC qualification in social media.