Managing Your Business’ Social Media Channels – Recent Changes You Need To Know About
As the summer approaches and vacation season begins, work loads can get a little lighter allowing us to tackle that long list of to-do’s that we’ve tucked away for a rainy day.
One of these to-dos should be to take a look at your business’ social media presence and see how it can be optimized to attract the most traffic, likes and shares as possible.
Many of the top social media sites have come out with major announcements in the past few weeks. Some have changed page layouts and designs, while others have added more value for brands in terms of sponsorship opportunities or richer data. Here is a quick summary of what you need to know.
Twitter changed the layout of it’s profile pages to a three-column view, which is designed to keep visitors on the page longer by providing the option of looking at photos, videos and searching through the lists of followers.
There is also now the option of adding a large header image and a larger profile picture. This allows brands to have better cohesion between social channels, as it is now possible to leverage a common style banner on Google+, Facebook and Twitter.
One change that is especially interesting for marketers is the ability to pin a tweet to the top of the page. This has been a popular feature on Facebook and LinkedIn and it’s great to see Twitter adopt this. Twitter is also using a new pattern for tweets that increases the size of the font on tweets that have a higher level of engagement.
The big changes to Pinterest are all around their newly launched tools for business. The most useful change comes with their new business insights API that feeds data automatically into marketing platforms like Hootsuite and Exact Target. This allows marketers to see Pinterest metrics as part of their total social media numbers.
Also, Pinterest has added do-it-yourself pins so businesses can promote chosen pins to reach more people. With analytics, it’s possible to see how pins are performing, including which pins and boards are driving the most impressions, and which have the highest number of clicks, repins and engagement across different platforms. The analytics accounts are only open to those with a business account, so you may need to convert your account over from personal to business if you have not already don’t so.
Facebook is no stranger to change, with minor changes being rolled out on the site every week. However, the change making waves lately is a revamp that they are rolling out over the second half of June to their business page. This new page design has a streamlined layout that makes it easier for followers to find information and for page managers to find tools and view page analytics.
All the page posts will be displayed in a straight line in the right-hand column of the page. And, the left-hand column will feature a new about section, map, contact information, as well as photos and videos.
Admin tools will be displayed on the right hand side of the cover photo under the header “This Week”. Here, you will find statistics on any active ads, page likes, page reach and any unread messages.
The top menu bar has also been enhanced to make it easier to access activity, insights and settings.
A new feature called “Pages to Watch” has also been introduced. Pages to Watch allows page managers to create a list of similar pages and compare their performance versus their own. This feature will help page managers see which competitor posts get the most reach.
And finally, the business name and category, as well as the “Like” button, will now sit on top of the cover photo. The cover photo banner remains the same size, but the profile picture moves up higher onto the cover photo. This may make it necessary for you to either reposition your cover image or adjust it to remove any critical info from the bottom of the image.
LinkedIn has also made some big changes to its company pages. Most notably, they removed the Products & Services tab. This takes away a company’s ability to have dedicated pages for individual products and services. Instead, LinkedIn recommends creating one of its new “Showcase pages”, a more content heavy page template that can be used to feature products and services.
Showcase pages are free and are designed to highlight brands, business units and initiatives. They can be used for industry news pages, company or product announcements, promos, campaigns, FAQ’s, blog posts and more. Ultimately this provides businesses with more flexibility, but it means a revamp in your page strategy for LinkedIn.
Keeping Up with Changes
Social media channels are constantly updating their look and feel, while incorporating new features and admin tools. It’s important to watch for these changes to ensure your pages are displaying properly and to schedule a quarterly or bi-annual review of your pages to ensure that they are optimized to attract and retain your visitors. The increase in social media tools and metrics also helps you track which of your posts are performing best, so you can optimize your social media strategy.