The Biggest Social Media Updates of 2013
Can you believe how quickly 2013 has gone by? As we end one year and begin another, it’s about that time to start thinking of new marketing goals we’d all like to achieve. However, before we can think of new ways to attract leads and generate more sales, it’s always important to look back and analyze past marketing data and all the marketing trends that have happened this year.
And no amount quite compares to the number of social media updates that happened in 2013. We’ve gathered a few of the key ones that could make your business can take and run with in 2014, and here they are:
The Most Important Facebook Updates of 2013
Social search with Graph Search
Whoohoo! In September 2013, Facebook introduced Graph Search to the Facebook world, a way for users to search for specific topics mentioned in all posts and status updates, photos, check-ins and comments on the social media site.
Marketer’s Tip: Not only does this update make all updates and posts searchable, marketers can take advantage of this info at their fingertips to dig deep and discover the trends and behaviors of your audience.
Additionally, this research tool can help marketers find ways to enhance content marketing and find brand mentions, influencers, and information on competitors.
Facebook Launched #Hashtags
Facebook introduced clickable hashtags this year. With so many Facebook users now (1.19 billion active users), Facebook wanted to help link together topics and help users participate in conversations over specific topics.
Marketer’s Tip: Marketers can use these clickable links to join conversations with users on related topics in their industry and extend their reach to specific audiences.
Facebook Algorithm Updates to Favor High-Quality, Visual Content
Facebook had several changes to their News Feed algorithm this year, including a change that favors high-quality, visual content over anything else. All marketers need to know is:
More relevant articles will be shown more frequently the News Feed, this means the more clicks or comments an article gets, the more the user will see it in their individual feed.
In addition, similar or relevant articles will be shown over those cute cat memes hosted on other sites (what a shame!).
Marketer’s Tip: If you’re going to post content, make it relevant! Quality always trumps quantity, especially now in the social media world.
The Most Important Twitter Updates of 2013
Twitter Images Showing Up in User Streams
Twitter just had to keep up with the visual content trend, so they made an announcement that they would be showcasing images directly on the Twitter feed.
Marketers’s Tip: It’s sort of a big deal for Twitter to be jumping on the visual content train, especially because they are the only social network with the 140 character cap that sometimes drives us social marketers insane! Adding visual content is necessary now if you want to see real engagement and it can’t be ignored!
Lead Generation Cards for Twitter Advertisers
In May, Twitter announced the availability of the Lead Generation card, a tool that helps advertisers find and connect with contacts off-Twitter who are interested in their messages. Now it’s available to every advertiser.
Basically, this allows marketers to attach a business card or a contact form to their tweet for users to easily get in touch.
Marketer’s Tip: Take advantage of this if you want to see your true conversion rates and the fruits of your ad dollars on Twitter. It’s a big step that let’s everyone know Twitter cares about how well your business does too.
The Most Important Google+ Updates of 2013
The Google+ New Look
Google+ got an interface lift with a brand new layout. In addition to enhancing the ways photos and videos are seen on the social marketing site, it most notably features relatable hashtags that are auto-generated for you when a post is made. Google’s able to scan content and photos and attach the appropriate hashtags. Similar to all other hashtag features, users can click and be redirected to related content.
Marketer’s Tip: This is Google+ attempt at bringing more relevant content to the right user at the right time. Don’t be afraid to create content that speaks to a specific audience about a specific topic.
Google+ has a Better Dashboard
Additionally, Google+ released a new and improved dashboard that allows businesses to manage daily activities you’d do on Google. Page owners can update their contact info, website URL, phone numbers across the board on Google Maps, Google Search, and Google+ right from the dashboard.
Marketer’s Tip: This should make it easier to streamline information and manage your online presence all across Google, which is great! It’s important to also make sure contact information is consistent on all other online business directories.
The Most Important LinkedIn Updates of 2013
LinkedIn Showcase Pages
Recently, LinkedIn announced the addition of Showcase pages, which allow a business to create niche pages where users can learn more about specific products and services.
Marketers’s Tip: If you’re a business with hands in different types of industries, this could be a great way to categorize services and create and post more industry specific content to better cater to audiences. For example, Adobe can target creative with their Creative Suite showcase page and also their marketing crowd through their separate marketing showcase page.
LinkedIn introduced Sponsored Updates this year, which allow marketers to promote a post from the Company Page to specific contacts through the news feed. This allows businesses to deliver relevant content to those relevant professional contacts.
Marketer’s Tip: Do you see a trend here? Social media is now focusing on delivering content to the right people at the right time to consume the content. This is a huge plus for inbound marketing!
The Most Important Instagram Updates of 2013
Instagram Finally Gets Sponsored Ads
It’s hard to not forget that Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion dollars back in 2012. And Facebook is just now beginning to see the fruits of their investment with Instagram Sponsored Ads.
Instagram began rolling out sponsored ads this year that users will choose to see and are best tailored to them based on what they like and follow.
Marketer’s Tip: Not all marketers have access to this feature yet, but it gives all of us a good glimpse at what’s to come. Marketers will have to have a “wait-and-see” attitude to see if this feature will work for their marketing strategy. After all, it’s a new, non-intrusive type of marketing, but it’s already working well for participating brands.
Instagram Adds Video
Instagram made the biggest update to date: In addition to the photos that users can take with the app, they have also gained the ability to create short videos.
And what’s more, these videos can be created instantly and shared on social sites, where they auto-play when you scroll past them on the Facebook timeline.
Marketer’s Tip: Video has officially arrived. It’s time to start adding video into your content strategy. Video can help spread your message all over the Internet and Instagram is perfect for your brand to make quick, highly-shareable videos.
The Most Important Pinterest Updates of 2013
Free Web Analytics for Business Pages
As a marketer, numbers and data are important to you. That’s why Pinterest launched free analytics for business accounts in 2013.
If you have a verified business account on Pinterest, you can view analytics on site metrics, most pinned, and most clicked. A plus: you and view any timeframe and export into a CSV file.
Marketer’s Tip: Up to this point, the results a marketer’s been seeing on Pinterest has been pretty subjective. With the addition of these available analytical tools, Pinterest is showing that they are a big deal social media site now. Watch out, Internet!
Going along the same lines of the tasteful, relevant Instagram ads, Pinterest experimented this year with offering up some ad space. Promoted Pins will place pins on users’ feeds that are subtle and discreet and they won’t even shout or look like an ad.
Marketer’s Tip: Again, Pinterest make huge strides to establish themselves as a big shot social site this year and this is just another big move for the site. They’ll most likely follow the footsteps for Facebook and Twitter, creating a way for marketers to incorporate Pinterest in their marketing strategy.
Finally, we wind down to the very last update with Pinterest Rich Pins, which allow users to add in a few other little details about the pins. With rich pins, pinners can now map their pin with a Place Pin, include a headline with Article Pins, include pricing with Product Pins, display ingredients for Recipe Pins, and show reviews about movies with Movie Pins.
Marketer’s Tip: This should let every marketer know that they can use Pinterest for their business, no matter what industry. Additionally, it further confirms that creating killer content is key and it can now be better shared on Pinterest. Got a blog post or an eBook? Go ahead and post it!
The major takeaway that all marketers should know about social media this year? With the updates on how content is seen and posted, it’ll be more important than ever before for all marketers to create and curate high quality, relevant, engaging content to provide them with the reigns of success in 2014.
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