This summer has been full of news and changes from many of the social platforms that businesses use most, and as we head into Fall we wanted to take a moment to highlight some of the changes that matter most for your businesses online presence:
- Facebook gives power back to the people: In July Facebook announced on its blog that they would be rolling out a new form of News Feed preferences for users, allowing them to pick the pages and people whose posts they want to see the most. What does this mean for businesses? Remember back in the day when you had to spread awareness about getting people to “like” your page? Now wouldn’t be a bad time to craft a message along those lines showing people how to make your page a “preferred” newsfeed choice. Is it worth it? Yes. More often than not we hear from Facebook users that they are annoyed when they miss out on promos and offers from companies they follow. Essentially this is why Facebook is making the update so that users can pick more of what they see, so make sure you don’t miss out on the opportunity!
- Google + continues to fall apart: It's been a never ending saga for this failed social platform, one that continues to plummet but hasn’t quite died yet. So what’s changed recently? Google’s Bradley Horowitz, leader of Photos, Streams and Shares, announced the end of required Google + accounts for their other services. The most controversial of these integrated services is YouTube. In the past many users complained of the nuisance of having to create a Google + account only to then create their YouTube accounts. While we’re not recommending getting rid of your Google + Business Page anytime soon, this marks an important shift for Google + and the future of the platforms purpose, as well as the need for businesses to integrate their services.
- LinkedIn empowers employees to be social: In April, LinkedIn quietly rolled out and introduced LinkedIn Elevate, which according to them is “a new product that helps companies and employees curate high-quality content, share easily to social networks, and measure the impact.” While its currently available by invite only, we can see huge potential in this for B2B companies of all sizes to really grow their network while engaging employees. We’ll let you know if we get an invite, or rather we’ll have our employees let you know!
- Twitter lets go of direct message limitations: Today Twitter announced they have removed the 140-character limit on direct messages. This allows businesses and their customers to create real conversations without having to leave the platform but still staying out of the public eye. It’s a needed move as Twitter has seen the increase in brands using the site to build relationships with their customers and provide immediate feedback for questions and complaints.
- Instagram makes ads accessible to more: Over the Summer Instagram announced it would be switching over its API (application programming interface), in order to make ads more easily accessible to companies. According to Business Insider, "By opening up an API to partners, marketers can now — for the first time — start buying Instagram ads and planning their Instagram marketing in a more automated fashion." This is huge for business and Instagram alike. Before, ad sales were limited, due to companies having to directly contact Instagram, but this change opens up the ability for users to purchase ads much like they do on Facebook or Twitter. Read more about Instagram's big move here: Business Insider: Instagram Switches API.
Bonus- soon to come! Facebook will soon allow users to buy products direct from retailer pages: According to Mashable, “The social network is testing a shopping experience that allows users to buy items directly from business' Facebook pages. The new shopping feature, first reported by BuzzFeed, will allow retailers to turn their Facebook pages into mini storefronts outside of their main websites.”