Bust or Boon: The Changing Social Media Landscape

Social media platforms constantly change the way they deliver content to users, which includes how they receive advertising and other information from brands. As marketers, it’s our job to stay up-to-date, anticipate trends and adapt to the ever-evolving social media landscape. Thus far in 2015, there have been some major developments by leading social media giants that will affect online brand strategies.

Facebook Updates News Feed Algorithm

Zuckerburg and company constantly try to improve the user experience, and commonly tweak the Facebook algorithm to alter what people see on their news feeds. The latest update, which took place last month, promotes friend content over page content (i.e. brands, businesses). This, in effect, will order page posts on a user’s newsfeed lower than before, giving posts that are paid and boosted an advantage. However, the update also places what’s important to each user toward the top of their newsfeed. This means that a user who regularly interacts with, reads or likes a page’s content will have this information float upwards in their feed. Further, it means that fans who have minimal interaction with your brand will see less, while those who have engaged will not.

Google Search Results Get Mobile “Friendlier”

Last month, Google altered its search algorithm to favor search results that offer mobile-friendly sites over those that don’t. The changes will only affect search results for mobile, not desktop or tablet searches. However, with more than half of Google’s search traffic coming from smartphones (and that Google handles two-thirds of US Internet searches), this is a big deal. The time to invest in a mobile-friendly site is now. Google won’t sacrifice relevancy for the sake of mobile optimization, but given that the top three search results on a page receive approximately 62% of clicks, it is imperative to integrate SEO efforts with a mobile-ready approach.

Twitter Allows Direct Messages to Anyone

Twitter now has a setting to allow direct messages to or from anyone regardless if you follow them or not. While these changes require retooling of existing strategies, it also effectively offers new opportunities to communicate, granting access to people outside of your follower network. Twitter even declared in a blog post that the change aims to allow its users to “connect more easily – and directly – on Twitter with the people, causes and businesses you care about most.” Brands and advertisers can tap into entirely new audiences to direct message users who tweet about or follow a complimentary product/service or mention/follow a competitor. It also gives the public more access to brands allowing them to message them directly, which can mitigate negative comments being posted publicly.

Native Video and Live Streaming Video

Videos are everywhere. Facebook reported 4 billion video views per day on its site recently and it seems like every major social media platform has integrated native video. Rather than linking or embedding a YouTube video, native video offers capabilities such as auto-play and view counts to give marketers more information than ever before. The latter helps to measure the performance of ad campaigns and provide better analytics. In the past few months, live video streaming apps like Meerkat and Periscope have made waves by allowing users to broadcast live from their smartphones. Twitter-owned Periscope is especially intriguing as it links to an existing Twitter account, so brands don’t have to build an entirely new following. For companies on the frontline of this trend, it offers a dynamic and more authentic way to engage audiences and tap into the effectiveness of video as a means of communication.

With all of these major changes, brands need to be proactive and capable of changing as these platforms evolve. With years of experience managing social media for Fortune 500 clients, AC&M is a leading expert in developing marketing strategy and executions for all social media platforms. Implemented and monitored correctly, social media can be a huge boon for your business leaving those who’ve gone bust in the past.

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