2012 was a year of constant updates from all the social networks, several which have major impacts on how we advertise. As a marketer, it’s important for to continue to keep up-to-date with all of the major changes going on, as well as use the updates to help us sell more product, increase brand awareness, and ultimately reach our established goals. We’ve attempted to capture six of the hardest hitting, revenue impacting updates across many of the social networks this year. As a digital marketer, it’s imperative to remain on your toes and as agile as possible within these rapid changing technological times.
1. Mobile Only Facebook Ads
For the first time, marketers can pay for advertising directly on the Facebook Mobile App instead of just the desktop alone. These come in the form of sponsored stories, and we have included a screenshot to show you exactly what to look for. Another nice feature here is the social proof element, or number of people that are using this. This new type of advertising also allows us to compare which platform is more effective as far as conversions, something that marketers were not able to do in the past. Previously the same ad was generated to users on a desktop or mobile device, without clear delineation on performance for each one.
2. Twitter Cover Photos
There are still a tremendous amount of people who use twitter.com, even with the multitude of Twitter tools out there. Twitter profiles now have the ability to have a cover photo (much like that of Facebook) in order to promote a user or business. Users’ eyes will immediately go toward the larger image, which also promotes the name and bio, something that was far less visible with the old profiles.
3. New Linkedin Company Pages
Linkedin has produced many updates in 2012, most of which are great improvements from previous versions. One that stands out the most to us is the new Linkedin company pages. Previously, it seemed that all Linkedin pages looked the same, with the exception of a logo here and company information across the top left area. With the new update, products, services and company information are much more prominent. The new layout was also redesigned to showcase recommendations, which everyone always wants to see.
4. Google+ Hangouts on Air
A magical event, Google+ Hangouts on air allows you to virtually hangout with 9 other people while being able to broadcast to a much larger audience. While you are hanging out in a discussion, event, panel or whatever it may be, Google broadcasts this to the world, and when you are done, it uploads the video to YouTube. Press conferences, free concerts, or direct interviews with thought leaders have proven to be of great value to the Google+ user community.
5. Google Places Becomes Google+ Local
Earlier this year, Google decided to decommission Google Places and put all its existing efforts into Google+ Local. If you are you already using Google+, this will make life much easier. For users not using Google+, it’s a great way to encourage people to start using it. It’s a win/win for Google either way; one main reason they moved in this direction.
6. Pinterest Brand Pages
One of the hottest areas of social media right now is Pinterest. More importantly, businesses are scrambling to figure out how to use Pinterest and tap into the millions of people currently using the social network. With the release of brand pages on Pinterest, there is no shortage of great examples of brands using Pinterest to increase community engagement. Next up for Pinterest? Most marketers want to see some form of analytics about users on their boards. Stay tuned for many more updates in 2013 from Pinterest.
For more in-depth social media marketing training, check out our Social Media Boot Camp.Learn to Maximize Your Business and Sales Potential through Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Linkedin and more in this social media training course.
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