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Springtime Social Shakedown

Madeleine Coe

As we head into April, here’s what you need to know now to be in the know for social media this spring.

Google
The popularity of Twitter’s Periscope app, competitor Meerkat, and the introduction of Facebook Live have egged Google on to their own live-streaming app, YouTube Connect, that will allow individual YouTube accounts to broadcast events live on their channel.

While YouTube has supported live streams previously, their hope is to increase mainstream usage with this new app, which would allow them to interact with fans and view comments. Once complete, these live videos will show up in a Newsfeed function for viewers to experience after they are complete.

Facebook
Rejoice! Facebook wants to help the users of their paid advertising services better understand how and why certain ads perform better than others. The Delivery Insights tool in Ads Manager will be rolling out globally in just a few weeks. With this updated tool, advertisers can find feedback in both the Delivery column at the campaign level, the ad set level and a tab under Tools in Ads Manager. Delivery Insights will offer information on why an ad might be underperforming and offer specific suggestions to optimize engagement and win the PCP bidding options over competitive audiences and keywords for that ad. They also hosted a webinar on March 24th to help advertisers understand the bidding process.

Twitter
Twitter celebrated its 10th birthday on March 21st. From trending tweets to breaking news, Twitter has delivered unique content and perspectives from the past decade all over the world. Hashtags have gone mainstream as a way of communicating thoughts and spreading ideas and movements. On the ground for Arab Spring, to live-tweeting political campaign results or your favorite movie, to tribute tweets for the heroes and celebrities who have passed on, to Ellen DeGeneres’ famed Oscar selfie and the royal wedding in 2011, Twitter has been a part of it all.

Instagram
It is no surprise that Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, has elected to follow Facebook’s lead in switching from chronological updates to a curated feed based on the content that you interact with most. The switch for Facebook has contributed to a continual 40% growth rate in users year over year, and it is no shock that they would hope to create the same success with the already popular photo and video app. Reactions so far have actually been extremely negative.

Algorithm Apocalypse
This year, marketers have a new fear as Instagram and Twitter switch from chronological update feeds to feeds rely on an algorithm to determine worthiness based on engagement of posted content and images. This means that not all of your content will make it directly to your followers, but it’s not a bad thing.

As marketers, if your brand message is sound and the content that you post acts as a highlight reel rather than a chronicle, drawing followers in with top quality information and images, then you have no need to fear. Tweeting constantly just to appear in your fan’s feeds will no longer be a time-killer, as one awesome post will make up for the 5-10 blah posts you used to send out per day just to be present. If every piece of content is now in competition, then be sure to show off the best that you have to offer and you will be rewarded with higher engagement.

While this change may mean investing in paid advertising to ensure that your posts come out on top, it also means that companies will begin to think of these social media sites as an added value rather than a chore. Much like Facebook’s switch to an engagement algorithm several years ago, Twitter and Instagram will now require you to become a lean, mean, social media marketing machine.

Sources: Twitter, TechCrunch: Twitter Celebrates…, TechCrunch: Social Colosseum, TechCrunch: Death of Instagram for Brands

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