The State of Social Media Marketing: Fall 2014 Edition

social media changes

Having trouble keeping up with all of the recent changes to social media?

There have been some big and important changes recently in social media that will be covered in this State of Social Media Marketing blog post.

We’ve kept our eye on news that is tough to ignore on all the major blog sites so you can stay focused on what matters most to you: your social media accounts.

Pinterest Introduces Messages

Pinterest is officially getting even more social with its latest addition: private messaging. Despite the Instagram vibe, I think most users (especially businesses and marketers) will appreciate this update. It seems a bit strange that it took this long to happen but hey, I’m not complaining.

Read more on the official Pinterest blogScreen Shot 2014-09-09 at 1.14.36 PM

LinkedIn Rolls Out “Follow” Button To Millions

Although it’s rather cumbersome to access it currently, LinkedIn has debuted a “Follow” button to millions of user profiles, a feature previously only available to the elite LinkedIn Influencers. This means you can follow posts of somebody that isn’t in your network to allow you to interact with their posts.

To access it, go to somebody’s profile that you aren’t connected with. Hover over the downward arrow beside “Send NAME an InMail” and select “View Recent Activity”. 

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 1.17.04 PM

You’ll see a list of their most recent posts and activity on LinkedIn, along with a yellow “Follow” button at the top right of their profile. Pretty cool, huh?

Screen Shot 2014-09-09 at 1.17.20 PM

Read more on ReadWrite

Facebook Bans Like-Gating On Pages

We spoke with Jim Belosic, CEO of ShortStack, about this and here’s what he had to say:

My thoughts are: THIS IS GREAT! We’ve been moving away from like-gating for months now for two reasons:

  1. The value of a Like is minor compared to other data that a business should be trying to collect (emails, feedback, opinions, other data). I think that a lot of business owners have been too focused on getting a lot of likes, at the expense of encouraging actions with higher ROI.
  2. Like-gating on mobile is terrible and basically broken. Mobile consumption is through the roof, yet when you send a mobile user to a Like-gated app on Facebook, the UX is atrocious. Many times the user would be asked to login to Facebook again, or the redirect back to the app would never happen and the user would be stuck on a blank page.

This policy change is a sign that even Facebook knows that a “like” isn’t worth as much as page admins think it is. Most savvy marketers have shifted away from like-gating already, but this change will force the rest to update their methods and see better results from their efforts.

Read more on Jon Loomer’s blog

Facebook Gives Marketers More Data on Multi-Device Access

If you serve a mobile ad to somebody on Facebook but they don’t convert until they get back to their desktop, how do you track that conversion? Before now, there was no way to do this.

Facebook has given marketers a powerful feature for tracking cross-device conversions in Facebook’s Ad Reports tools. If you’re selling products online and using Facebook ads in your strategy, this tool is something you’ll want to check out.

Read more on Internet Retailer

Twitter Introduces Promoted Video

Since Twitter is now a publicly traded company, it should come as no surprise that they are ramping up features that will increase revenue and their latest edition is promoted video. If used right, this is an exciting new opportunity for advertisers but likely also an annoyance for users that are exposed to the less-than-clever examples that are bound to quickly reveal themselves.

Read more on Twitter’s official blog

Facebook Cracks Down on Click Bait With New Rule

If you’re just as annoyed as I am by the shameless click baited headlines that come from sites like BuzzFeed and Upworthy, you’ll be pleased to learn about this new change. Facebook is tweaking their algorithm to downplay articles in the News Feed that are begging for your clicks without providing much information as to what you should expect.

The interesting part is how they are going to determine this. They will be tracking:

  • The ratio of people clicking on content versus people discussing it with friends and sharing it (low engagement = potential click bait)
  • Time spent away from Facebook before returning (low time spent = potential click bait)

Facebook Cracks Down on Links In Photo Captions

As part of the click bait algorithm adjustment, Facebook is downplaying rankings for photo posts that have links in the captions. Here’s the official word from Facebook:

“We’ve found that people often prefer to click on links that are displayed in the link format (which appears when you paste a link while drafting a post), rather than links that are buried in photo captions. The link format shows some additional information associated with the link, such as the beginning of the article, which makes it easier for someone to decide if they want to click through. This format also makes it easier for someone to click through on mobile devices, which have a smaller screen.

With this update, we will prioritize showing links in the link-format, and show fewer links shared in captions or status updates.”

Read more on VentureBeat

Twitter Proposes An Updated “Filtered” Feed

This change has stirred one heck of a controversy after Twitter announced that they would be implementing an algorithm-driven feed in 2015. Twitter’s CFO Anthony Noto publicly stated that arranging tweets based on time “isn’t the most relevant experience for users.”

It’s comments like these that are fueling the fires of those concerned that Twitter will inevitably turn into Facebook. Can we trust Twitter to determine which tweets we should and shouldn’t see in our feeds?

I highly recommend checking out a few different articles on this because there are sharply divided opinions:

LinkedIn Publisher Change Hides Social Sharing Stats

This is easily the silliest of all social media changes on this list: LinkedIn Publishing has removed the social sharing stats on posts. This is a vital element of social proof and speaks volumes to the quality of the content the reader is about to read, before they have to read it. They changed the design of how posts appear when reading them in LinkedIn Publisher but for some reason they mysteriously removed the counters that showed how many people have shared that post. Don’t ask me why they did it, it makes no sense to me and not a change I’m happy with.

Read more on Linked Insights

Have You Noticed Any Social Media Changes?

We’re doing our best to keep an eye out for any major social media changes but sometimes a few can slip past the radar. Have you noticed any changes that we might have missed in the last month? Which social media changes would you applaud or protest? Let us know in the comments below.

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