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6 social media network updates that you missed

6 social media network updates that you missed Trevor LaTorre-Couch
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Social media networks are constantly redesigning and updating interfaces to make for a better user experience. However, it can be difficult to keep up with what's changed -- especially if you're a B2B or B2C user who relies on social to build prospects and manage relationships with customers. Sure, each network likely sends an email or provides some sort of alert within the product, but let's be honest -- how many of us really take the time to read the fine print about what the change actually is? Usually we are surprised or confused for a few minutes when we first login and see the new change.


6 social media network updates that you missed


Let's take away the guesswork for you. Here are the most recent changes to Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn and how each change might affect those managing company pages and accounts.

Facebook


Change:
As of Feb. 20, Facebook Page administrators are able to see who made posts on behalf of their page(s). According to the Facebook pop-up post at the top of the page, this information will be available to "anyone with an admin role on your page."


Benefit:
The value of this new feature is quite clear: When an administrator posts to the page, his or her name automatically appears above the post(s). This allows managers and other system administrators to keep track of who is responsible for the content making it to company pages. Altogether, this ensures that multiple users who manage a single page are held accountable.


Change:
Facebook product manager Chris Turitzen released another new addition stating that Facebook would be changing its news feed ranking algorithm to favor high-quality content and news articles. Turitzen said that although text status updates from individuals would continue to rank high, text status updates from company pages would rank substantially lower. Facebook noticed that content does not entice users to engage.


Benefit:
This means page administrators will have to nail down their audience and create content that their users will consistently "like," comment on, or share. Additionally, Turitzen said page admins should link-share, rather than embedding the link to a story in the text. This provides users with visually stimulating posts that get more engagement -- "likes," shares, comments, and clicks. To link-share, grab the link and paste it into Facebook's post box so that it populates a preview of the post and image. From there you can delete the URL and put your custom text. If you're using a third-party tool to manage your accounts and publishing features, like HootSuite, check to make sure that it offers Facebook preview options that mirror the link-share feature. See the difference between link-share updates and embedded link updates below.



Link-share update:


6 social media network updates that you missed 


Embedded link update:


6 social media network updates that you missed

Twitter


Change:
In December, Twitter announced it would incorporate the promoted accounts structure into its iOS and Android platforms, which would use tweets as a call to action and allow local businesses to run geotargeted campaigns.


Benefit:
As an account manager, this means that you are now able to advertise based on location. By choosing a specific area, users in that vicinity will see your advertised tweet. Promoted accounts are charged by the number of those who become a follower after clicking the ad -- not just by clicks alone. So there's no use clicking your competitors' ads on your lunch break.


Change:
Twitter also announced in December the redesign of its website to match the mobile app. On the surface, this aesthetic change conveniently places the "compose new tweet" function at the top-right corner of the page. However, with the expanded timeline, it is clear that Twitter is hoping to emphasize image-based tweets over text.


Benefit:
Similar to the change in Facebooks' ranking algorithm, be sure to incorporate images into text-based tweets to boost engagement.


Change:
Relevancy, either via location or another control, seems to be built into every product release at Twitter. The social network previewed tailored ads back in July, and now it has decided to roll these out to all advertisers by collecting information -- browser, cookie ID -- from sites that users have visited. It also includes displaying relevant ads in users' timelines.


Benefit:
As a Twitter account manager or advertiser, you can define your audience and potential customers from this feature. And if, as a user, the notion of collecting data from visited websites sounds creepy, you can disable the "Promoted Content" tab in your settings.

LinkedIn


Change:
Last November, LinkedIn announced an extension of its "company page" called "showcase pages," which allows companies to build pages highlighting specific brand aspects or different products. When you create a "showcase page," you can refine your share and sponsored updates for your followers that are interested in specific aspects of your business.


Benefit:
These new pages are aimed at building relationships with LinkedIn members by enabling the page admin to optimize social engagement to target specific interests within your audience.


6 social media network updates that you missed



Perhaps you've already noticed a few of these changes and incorporated them into your social strategy. But if you haven't, take a moment to consider how they might affect the way you promote or manage these social media accounts.


Trevor LaTorre-Couch is a marketing associate at Viralheat.


On Twitter? Follow iMedia Connection at @iMediaTweet.


"Tablet PC in human hands" image via Shutterstock.

Trevor is on the marketing team at Viralheat, the enterprise social media management where he is part of content creation, branding strategy, and creating company collateral. Despite his published work across the web, Trevor will not consider...

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