2012 was a busy year for social media sites. Some have just had some small adjustments and some have had bigger overhauls. This is a quick roundup of the biggest changes to social media and why they are important for online marketing.
Mobile- Only Facebook ads.
Marketers are now able to place ads only for the Facebook mobile app. After companies realised that their target audience was using the mobile app more often than the desktop website, yet they had to pay for both. This change means that they can reach mobile users differently. It also means they have a chance to see how effective the different platforms are and where they should be putting their money.
Open graph applications let third party developers to share their interaction with users after that user has given permission once. Basically once you’ve given permission to the company like a shop or a newspaper they can post what you were buying or reading on your timeline.
This gives marketers access to many more people than before. It’s basically Facebook’s word of mouth app!
Pages and Timelines
The Spring saw Facebook Pages change to a more visual feel including the ability to add branding across the banner. Timelines introduced a map of updates, milestones, pictures, apps, highlights and pinned posts.
Global Brand pages
In October Facebook announced Facebook Global Pages. It allows global companies to have one Facebook URL rather than one for each country they trade in. The URL is the same but it takes the user to different versions of the page based on global location.
More Facebook targeting options
Facebook now allow advertisers to target their audience based on a wider criteria. The information in the Facebook about me section, including gender, age and relationship status allows advertisers to target their audience with more personalised content.
Targeted LinkedIn updates
You can now segment your LinkedIn updates based on your company size, function, industry and geography as well as other factors. Using this plethora of criteria advertisers can post their updates right onto the user’s homepage. You also now get stats for the number of followers, clicks and shares after 24 hours. There’s been a 66% increase in engagement between companies and users since this update.
New LinkedIn company pages
Before this update all LinkedIn pages looked the same apart from your own logo and company bio. With the new LinkedIn company pages you can now display updates, services and products much more prominently. There’s now a space for a cover photo and you can change your layout for job advertisements and better targeting options to reach specific parts of your audience. The new layout now shows recommendations from your page in the sidebar so your products and services are much more prominent. There’s been a 66% increase in engagement between companies and users since
Twitter and LinkedIn part ways
As a tweeter you used to be able to post updates through LinkedIn from your Twitter account. You can still post to Twitter from LinkedIn but not visa versa.
Business accounts for brands
Pinterest is the fastest growing social media platform and this year they announced business accounts for brands. This makes it a lot simpler for businesses to market through them.
Pinterest is projected to account for 40% of all social media driven purchases. It’s an encouraging sign of things to come with the possibilities available for companies through this visual platform.
Twitter cover photos
Taking their lead from Facebook, Twitter changed the layout to their page to include a ‘cover photo’ on a company or user page.
Cover photos give marketers more space on their page to advertise their company and can now give the user a better idea of what they’re all about. Followers are more drawn to larger pictures and the cover photo promotes the name, location and bio much more effectively than the old layout.
Tailored trends notifies tweeters about the most popular trends on twitter using the information twitter has on their interests, location and followers. This makes each twitter trend individual to each user, instead of broad topics that will interest the masses.
Marketers can now immediately find out about breaking trends and news and can even do some news jacking through their own accounts. It is also a way to help you find out what sort of content your followers might be interested in.
Targeting by Interest or Username
Twitter now enables marketers to expand their paid advertising opportunities by being able to target by interest or user name. Gone is the targeting using a broad search term now you can get much more specific. Targeting by user name allows Twitter to look at other people who are similar to that username.
It also allows Twitter and markets to look at who the user is following, what they are talking about and what hashtags and keywords they are using. This has given businesses the chance to advertise more effectively.
There have been plenty of minor changes in Social Media this year as well but these are several major ones.