Friday Jun 28, 2013

Social Network Updates: While You Were Busy Marketing 2

biz showerSince social moves at the speed of data, it’s already time for another update, as we did back in April, on the changes the various social networks have made or gone through while you were busy marketing.

Facebook

There’s a lot of talk Facebook’s developing a mobile product to act like Flipboard and surface news, from both users and media outlets.

The biggest news was Facebook/Instagram’s introduction of 15-second videos, enhanced with with filters, to take some of Vine’s candy. You can also delete parts of videos and rerecord them, and there’s image stabilization.

Facebook’s ad revenue is coming along just fine, thank you very much. 35% quarter-to-quarter growth in Q2. And it looks like new formats like Mobile App Install Ads and Unpublished Page Posts are adding to the mix.

If you don’t already, you’ll soon see a little camera in comment boxes letting you insert photos right into the comments you make. The drive toward “more visual” continues.

The other big news is Facebook’s adoption of our Twitter friend, the hashtag. Adding # sets apart the post topic so it can be easily found or discovered. It’s also being added to Google Plus, Tumblr, and Pinterest.

Twitter

Want to send someone a promoted tweet when they’re in range of your store? That could be happening by the end of this year.

Some users have been seeing automatic in-stream previews of images on Twitter.com. Right now it’s images in your own tweets, but we can assume all tweets are next.

Get your followers organized! Twitter raised the limit on the number of lists you can create from 20 to 1,000. They also raised the number of accounts you can have in a list from 500 to 5,000.

Twitter started notifying you when someone favorites a tweet you’re mentioned in or re-tweets a tweet you re-tweeted. Anyway, it’s the first time Twitter’s notified you about indirect interactions like that.

Who’s afraid of Instagram? A study shows 6-second Vine videos are being posted to Twitter at the rate of 9/second, up from 5/second 2 months ago. Vine has over 13 million users and branded Vines are 4x more likely to be shared than video ads.

Google Plus

Now featuring a 3-column redesigned stream, and images that take up a whole column. And photo filters Auto Highlight and Auto Awesome work to turn your photos into a real show.

Google Hangouts is the workhorse for all Google messaging now, it’s not just an online chat with 9 people anymore.

Google Plus Dashboard improves the connection between your company’s Google Plus business page and your Google Plus Local. Updates go out across all Google properties and you can do your managing from the dashboard.

With Google Plus’ authorship system, you can build “Author Rank” based on what you write and put on the web. If your stuff is +1’ed and shared a lot, you’re the real deal and there are search result benefits.

LinkedIn

"Who's Viewed Your Updates" shows you what you’ve shared recently, who saw it and what they did about it in real-time.

Influencers” is, well, influential. Traffic to all LI news products has gone up 8x since it was introduced. LinkedIn is quickly figuring out how to get users to stick around awhile.

You and your brand can post images and documents in status updates now. In fact, that whole “document posting” thing is making some analysts wonder if LinkedIn will drift on over to the Dropboxes and YouSendIts of the world.

C’mon, admit it. Your favorite part of LinkedIn is being able to see who’s viewed your profile. Now you’ve got even more info and can see what/who you have in common. Premium users get even deeper insights about how people are finding them.

If you’re a big fan of security, you’ll love that LinkedIn started offering two-factor authentication (2FA). It’s optional, but step 2 is a one-time code texted to your registered mobile.

Pinterest

A study showed pins have a looong shelf life compared to other social net posts. “Clicks kept coming for 30 days and beyond.” Most pins are timeless, and the infinite scroll causes people to see older pins.

Is it a keeper? Pinterest jumped 82% to 54 million users in the past year. It’s valued at $2.5 billion and is one of the biggest sources of referral traffic there is. That said, CEO Ben Silbermann adds, "Right now, we don't make money."

A new search feature stops you from having to endlessly scroll through your own pins looking for that waterfall picture you posted. Simply select “just my pins” in the search bar.

New "Rich Pins" lets brands add info like price and availability to pins that can be updated daily via a data feed from your merchant site. Not so fast, you have to apply to Pinterest for it first.

Like other social nets, Pinterest does not allow sexual content, nudity, or even partial nudity. However…some art contains nudity, and Pinterest wants to allow art. What constitutes “art” will be judged by…what we have to assume are Pinterest employees who love their job.

@mikestiles
Photo: stock.xchng, Tim Marmon

Tuesday Feb 19, 2013

Has Google Plus Arrived at the Party?

discoWhen Google Plus launched in 2011, Facebook was situated as the public’s social network of choice, with Twitter 2nd on users’ minds. It was Circles instead of Groups, it was +1 instead of “Like,” there was this little thing called “Hangouts” that was fun to mess around with.

But largely, it was viewed as a competing social network, and one that frankly didn’t offer much beyond what was available on the reigning champs. Still, most insiders and analysts knew we weren’t seeing Google Plus’ endgame.

With Google’s search dominance and suite of widely adopted applications, it had a lot to eventually bring to the social party. Well, they may have arrived at that party…and at a time when the correlation between social and search is strengthening.

The renewed buzz around Google Plus arose out of the Global Web Index study showing G+ passing Twitter for the #2 spot behind Facebook. It has 343 million users, about 25% of global Internet users, although some critics claim users logging in for other Google products like YouTube or Gmail are being counted. Google denies this.

But that integration of Google Plus with sister products and the social/search connection are no doubt the platform’s big differentiators.

Integration:

Google Plus can do hyper-local thanks to its merging of Google Maps and Google Local Business Pages. A widely shared Fast Company article says there’s now little preventing it from competing with services like Yelp.

It goes on to say Google’s apps, with Google Plus, can address communication and collaboration. Hangouts, already in use by no less than the White House and easily started through Gmail, are recorded and stored to yet another Google product, YouTube, for archiving, reference and search benefits. “Easy and integrated” is a likely key to any influx of Google Plus users.

Social/Search:

Alex Hinojosa, VP of Media Operations for EMSI, lays it out. “Google favors anything posted on Google Plus.” That means if you post a link on Google Plus and a connection is logged in and searches your keyword, your post will get a great spot in their Google search results.

The BrightEdge 2013 Search Marketer Survey of brands shows marketers are well aware that social engagement, such as 5 billion Google +1’s a day (2012 Internet in numbers), affects search rankings. Over 80% of respondents say they’ll focus more on social to improve rank this year. Over 75% say optimizing for local search will be more important this year. Might Google Plus have something to contribute to those efforts?

When asked which social channels they’ll focus on in 2013, search marketers kept Facebook #1 at 86%, but Google Plus was 2nd at 68%. Your social relationship management platform should not only incorporate G+, but provide beyond-native analytics to surface the social content that drives engagement and thus, better search results.

How close is Google Plus to moving from “that other social network” to “critical component” at your organization?

@mikestiles
Photo: stock.xchng

Tuesday Aug 21, 2012

Social Content: Creativity + Common Sense

Are you stuck trying to figure out how to generate a consistent flow of quality content?  You're not alone.  Here are some the reason why brands get stuck and a formula for getting un-stuck. 

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