There have been some serious social media changes in the past couple months, some of which are exciting and a few of which - I'll admit - are not so exciting. I've collected a list of the most crucial changes that businesses utilizing social media marketing should know about.
1. Facebook No Longer Sharing Promotional Organic Posts
Shockwaves have been sent through the social media world as Facebook puts the final nail in the coffin for organic reach. After doing a "survey", Facebook has entrusted its EdgeRank algorithm to decipher which organic page posts are promotional so they can further decimate the reach they already weren't getting.
Is this a major change affecting brands? Yes and no. Let's be serious, it became crystal clear back in December 2013 that the game was changing to pay to play.
My advice? Invest more in your owned channels (email, blog) and in paid advertising through Facebook for your best content. The upside is that Facebook still offers the most targeted advertising available so use it where you need to drive a result and measure it to ensure you're getting an ROI.
Read Facebook's official article on reducing promotional page posts.
2. LinkedIn Removes Ability To Easily Connect With Group Members
LinkedIn has always been a unique social network in the way it requires you to say how you know someone when requesting to connect. Up until recently the best way to connect with people you don't know on LinkedIn was by sharing a similar group in common.
You previously had the ability to select a shared group as an option when asked, "How Do You Know This Person" but that's no longer available as of recently.
If you want to connect with someone on LinkedIn, you've always had to say how you know them in your connection request. If you're trying to meet new people on LinkedIn, selecting a group you share in common was previously an option for saying how you know that person when connecting.
That option has recently vanished but I have good news - there is a back door method to get around this that I mentioned in my recent article, 19 LinkedIn Ninja Tricks Experts Haven't Taught You Yet. Check out tips 1 and 2 to find two different ways to get around it.
3. Facebook Gives You More Control Over What You See In Your News Feed
I know what you're thinking...finally, right? You can more easily unfollow and re-follow specific people, pages and groups and control the amount of their content you see in your News Feed.
See it in action in the video below and check out Facebook's official blog on the update.
4. Cover Photos Now Available To All LinkedIn Users
When talking about the social media changes that were more recent back in May, Twitter rocked the world after shifting to a more Facebook-like appearance by adding a cover photo and now it appears that LinkedIn has followed suit. Premium members were originally the only members able to add a cover photo but now any LinkedIn member can do it, including free accounts.
Here's what mine looks like:
Keep it clean, professional and incorporate a call-to-action that speaks to the needs of your ideal client.
Want to add a cover photo to your LinkedIn profile?
- Login to LinkedIn
- Hover your mouse over "Profile" in the top menu
- Select "Edit Profile" from the drop down menu
- Look in the space where your cover photo would go for a prompt to add your own
- Upload your cover photo and make sure it is 1400 x 425 pixels and under 4MB in size
5. Facebook Updates Their Terms & Policies
This wouldn't be worthy of mentioning if not for the fact that Facebook is actually legitimately making some effort here. They've implemented an interactive guide to help answer most of the commonly asked questions about how information is used and controlled on Facebook in 36 languages.
Their policy updates better reflect how they collect and use location information, specific to each feature used. Overall their policy information is shorter, more concise and easier to read.
It might not be a perfect system but it's a step in the right direction. Learn more about Facebook's update to their terms and policies on the official Facebook blog.
6. You Can Now Edit Instagram Captions After Posting
This was one the most frequently requested features from the Instagram community and it has finally been implemented. Whether you made a typo or didn't like how you phrased a particular post, you can now access a new "Edit" option in the menu beneath your image.
For more about the new "Edit" option, visit Instagram's official blog.
7. New App: Twitter Small Business Planner
A new app is available in the App Store and Google Play from Twitter called Twitter Small Business Planner. It provides helpful tutorials to help you implement a more strategic approach to Twitter marketing.
The app is highly interactive, here is a quote from Twitter on some of its features:
- Browse a daily calendar themed around four main topics: Tweet suggestions, Twitter Ads strategies, information on Twitter tools, and exclusive events.
- Add the most relevant topics to your own agenda, which syncs with your personal device calendar; now you can keep track of Twitter alongside all of your other marketing activities
- Access additional resources such as research, success stories, blog articles and ebooks directly within the app
- Be the first to know about new #SmallGoesBig initiatives
Visit Twitter's official blog for more info on the Twitter Small Business Planner app.
(Source: Marketing Land)
8. Instagram Ads Have Officially Arrived
And they are video ads to top it off. The Instagram community is understandably irritated but I don't think anybody is surprised. The only surprising thing is that it didn't happen sooner.
Here's one of the first Instagram ads from Disney:
Learn more about Instagram's new video ads at this article from Ad Week.
9. Study Analyzes Top 3,000 LinkedIn Publishing Posts
An incredible study done by Search Wilderness and OKDork analyzed the 3,000 most popular articles shared on the LinkedIn Publishing platform and revealed some eye opening information.
Learn exactly how the LinkedIn community likes to consume content found locally on the site. I was personally blown away by the data and made an infographic to showcase it.
10. Multiple LinkedIn Group Searches Now Limited To Highest Premium Membership
In order to search more than one group in the advanced search, you now have to be the highest level of LinkedIn Premium, a feature previously open to all LinkedIn Premium members.
11. The New LinkedIn Connected App
This is new app LinkedIn was recently introduced and will show you what's going on with the people in your network. Whether it's a birthday, anniversary or a job change, it's easier to interact with these moments on LinkedIn Connected if you're on mobile.
Here's a slideshow breaking down the key features:
Learn more about LinkedIn Connected at the official LinkedIn blog.
12. Stay Accountable With The New LinkedIn Profile Views Page
If you're like me, you can sometimes get a bit addicted to tracking the Who's Viewed Your Profile page. I'm really excited about a new change LinkedIn has made that gives you a metric worth following that influences profile views that shows how many actions you've taken to get there.
Actions include connecting with new people, adding skills, editing positions and joining new groups. This encourages members to do what makes social media work: be social.
Learn more about the new LinkedIn profile views page here.
What Social Media Changes Have You Noticed?
Did we miss anything? It seems like the past couple months have had a much higher than normal amount of social media changes. Let us know if we missed anything in the comments below.